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POEMS 



FREDERICK WILLIAM FABER, D.D. 



Amico, io vivendo cercava conforto 

Nel monte Parnasso : 
Tu, meglio consigliato, ccrcalo 

Nel Calvario. 

Chiabrera's Epitaph at Savana. 



bifion. 



BALTIMORE: 

JOHN MURPHY & CO. 

1889. 



PREFACE. 

In republishing a selection from poems, written some 
of them more than twenty years ago, and many of 
which have been in print more than sixteen years, I 
have been guided by the judgment of those to whose 
opinion I should naturally defer. It appears also that 
there is now a demand for the volumes, which have 
for some time been out of print. If I did not hope 
that with many readers, especially the young, the 
publication would answer a higher end than literary 
pleasure, and that the poems would, in their place and 
degree, co-operate with the more serious and religious 
works, which the public has received with so much 
kindness, I should shrink from a re-issue of them. 
But if the glory of God should be promoted to ever 
so small an amount by this volume, I confess it Avill 
be also an additional pleasure to myself, that the labor 
and energy of past years should not have been alto- 
gether wasted, so far as that one end is concerned, 
to which alone I have a right to devote myself, and 
whose sole interest and importance grow with growing 
age, the knowledge and love of our Lord and Saviour 
Jesus Christ. 

F. W. FABER. 

The Oratory. London. 

Eve of SS. Peter and Paul, 
1856. 




CONTENTS. 



PAGE. 

Preface, ... ... ... ... ... ... 13 

Prelude to the Styrian Lake, ... ... ... ... 15 

1. The Styrian Lake. 

1. The Lake, ... ... ... ... ... 17 

2. The Legend, ... ... ... ... ... 21 

3. Church Matins, ... ... ... ... 29 

4. Margaret's Pilgrimage, ... ... ... ... 41 

5. Earth's Vespers, ... ... ... ... 45 

2. The Cherwell Water-Lily, ... ... ... ... 56 

3. Memorials of a Happy Time. 

1. The Meeting, ... ... ... ... ... 59 

2. The Lesson, ... ... ... ... ... 60 

3. The Vision, ... ... ... ... ... 60 

4. The Teacher, ... ... ... ... ... 61 

5. The Two Rivers, ... ... ... ... 62 

6. The Younger River, [The Rothay,] ... ... 62 

7. The Elder River, [The Brathay,] ... ... 63 

8. The Preparation. ... ... ... ... 63 

9. The Wheels, 64 

10. The Glimpse, ... ... ... ... ... 64 

11. The Perplexity, ... ... ... ... 65 

12. The Complaint, ... ... ... ... 66 

13. The Voice, ... ... 66 

14. The Temple, ... ... ... 67 

15. The Priest, ... ... ... ... ... 67 

16. The Humiliation, ... ... ... ... 68 

17. The Haunted Place Revisited, ... ... ... 68 

18. A Dream, ... ... ... ... ... 69 

4. The Mourner's Dream, arising from a strange and distress- 

ing impression of a friend's death in a foreign country, 70 

1. The Ruined Harbor, ... ... ... ... 71 

2. The Voyage, ... ... ... ... ... 73 

3. The World's Edge, ... ... ... .. 78 

5. The Dream of King Croesus, ... ... ... ... 93 

'6. The Senses, ... ... ... ... ... 109 

7 



8 CONTENTS. 

PAOK. 

7. A "Westmoreland Hamlet, ... 120 

8. On Revisiting the River Eden, iu Westmoreland, 1836, 125 
. The Knights of St. John, ... ... ...127 

10. Heidelberg Castle, ... ... ... 137 

11. Thelsis, - 142 

12. Hope, ... ... - - 145 

IX Ash-Wednesday, ... ... - 14G 

14. Easter Communion, ... ... ... l 4 ^ 

1.".. The Signs of the Times, ... ... ... 150 

1C. Oxford in Spring, ... ... ... ... 151 

17. Oxford in Winter, ... ... ... 135 

18. St. Mary's at Night, ... ... ... ... 155 

19. College Chapel, 157 

20. College Hall, 158 

21. College Garden, ... ... ... ... ... 158 

22. College Library, ... ... ... ... ... 159 

23. Absence from Oxford, (1) ... ... ... ...160 

24. Absence from Oxford, (2) ... ... ... ... 160 

25. The Beginning of Term, ... ... ... 161 

26. Christ Church Meadow, 163 

27. All Saints' Day. 

1. The Gathering of the Dead, ... ... ...168 

2. The Middle Home, ... ... ... ... 171 

2s. The Storm is Past, ... ... ... ... ... 174 

29. 'Tis when we suffer, ... ... ... ... ... 175 

30. The Holy Angels, ... ... ... ... ... 177 

31. The Life of the Living, ... ... ... ...179 

.Mountains, ... ... ... ... ... 182 

33. The Pic-nic, ... ... ... ... ... 187 

Ml. My Godson's Baptism, ... ... ... ... 188 

35. Birthday Thoughts, June 28, 1838. The Feast of St. 
Treiui-us. The Vigil of St. Peter. The Coronation of 
Queen Victoria, ... ... ... ... ... 190 

i lirthday Thoughts, at a Grave in Somersetshire, 1839, ... 193 

37. A Lesson from the Ferns, ... ... ... ... 194 

38. A Dream after an Argument with a Friend, ... ... 196 

30. I knew Three Sisters, who by Haunted Rills, ... ... 196 

40. Some Fall iu Love with Voices, some with Eyes, ... 197 

41. Castle-Hill, Keswick, ... ... ... ...198 

42. Furness Abbey, ... ... ... ... ... 200 

43. On the Heights near Devoke Water. August 7, 1838, ... 200 

44. The Groves of Penshurst, ... ... ... ...201 



CONTENTS. 9 

PAGE. 

45. The Iconoclast, ... ... ... ... ... 202 

4G. Three Happy Days, ... ... ... ... ... 202 

47. Stern Friend ... ... ... ... ... 204 

48. To a Little Boy, ... ... ... ... ... 206 

49. Verses sent to a Friend, with a Book, ... ... ... 206 

50. Written in a Little Lady's Little Album, ... ... 207 

51. The Mediterranean Sea, ... ... ' ... ... 208 

52. Heaven and Earth, ... ... ... ... 208 

53. A Farewell, Sept. 8, 1838, ... ... ... ... 209 

54. A Conversation near Rydal, Sept. 8, 1838, ... ... 210 

55. Green Bank, Sept. 12, 1838, ... ... ... ...211 

56. Admiration of Nature, ... ... ... ... 212 

57. To a Bookish Friend, ... ... ... ... 213 

58. King's Bridge, ... ... ... ... ... 213 

59. To a Friend, ... ... ... ... ... 218 

60. To a Friend, ... ... ... ... ... 218 

61. Favorite Books, ... ... ... ... ... 219 

62. To a Sanguine Friend, ... ... ... ... 220 

63. April Mornings, ... ... ... ... ... 220 

64. To a Friend, ... ... ... ... ... 222 

65. Llynsyvaddon, ... ... ... ... ... 223 

66. Childhood, 225 

67. Ross Churchyard, ... ... ... ... ... -I'll 

68. The Feast of the Invention of the Holy Cross, ... ... 228 

69. Ambitious Repentance, ... ... ... ... 230 

70. To a Lake Party, ... ... ... ... ... 233 

71. Cambridge, ... ... ... ... ... 235 

72. Past Friends, ... ... ... ... ...236 

73. Sonnet-Writing. To F. W. F. ... ... ... 236 

74. The Saying of St. Hernias, ... ... ... ... 237 

75. College Life, 239 

76. On a Pupil's Portrait, ... ... ... ... 239 

77. England's Trust, ... ... ... ... ... 240 

78. Thirlmere, ... ... ... ... ... 241 

79. Lent, ... ... ... ... ... ... 244 

80. Half a Heart, 246 

81. The Litany, ... ... ... ... ... 247 

82. France, ... ... ... ... ... ... 249 

83. Two Faiths, ... ... ... ... ... 256 

84. Proud Poets, ... ... ... ... ... 256 

85. Aged Cities, ... ... ... ... ... 257 

86. Unkind Judging ... ... ..> ... ... 257 



10 CONTENTS. 

PAGE. 

87. Admonition, ... ... ... ... 258 

88. Grisedale Tarn, ... ... ... ... 259 

KK Larch Trees, ... ... ... 261 

!>(i. Written in a Green-House, ... ... ... ... 262 

!M. P.rathay Uridire, ... ... ... ... - 263 

!2. The Hnithay Kingfisher, ... ... ... ... 263 

93. Loughrigg, * ... 264 

94. The World's Wake, ... ...267 

95. In-doors and out-of-doors, ... ... ... ... 268 

96. Scenery Hunting, ... ... ... ... ... 268 

97. To a Pupil, ... ... ... ... ... 269 

98. Richard's Tree, Waterpark, Coniston, ... ... 270 

99. The Death of Richard's Tree, Waterpark, Coniston, ... 270 

100. Written in Conway Castle, ... ... ... ... 271 

101. Old-Fashioned Houses. For a Lady fond of Old Furni- 

ture, ... ... ... ... ... ... 272 

102. The Menai Bridge, ... ... ... ... ... 272 

103. Church Postures, ... ... ... ... ... 273 

104. Snowden, in the Pass of Llanberis, ... ... ... 273 

10."). Nights for Poets, ... ... ... ... ... 274 

106. Softly the Ships do Sail. To my Mother, ... \ ... 275 

107. Welsh Valleys, 278 

108. The Four Religious Heathens. 

1. Herodotus, ... ... ... ... ... 278 

2. Nicias, ... ... ... ... ... 279 

3. Socrates, ... ... ... ... ... 280 

4. Seneca, .... ... ... ... ... 280 

109. Vale Crucis Abbey, ... ... ... ... 281 

110. On receiving a Letter from a Friend, after an inter- 

rupted correspondence, ... ... ... ... 283 

111. Up a Stream or Down, ... ... ... ... 285 

112. To the Memory of a Town-Pent Man, ... ... 292 

li:{. In the Scheldt, ... ... ... ... ...297 

114. To my Indian Sister, ... ... ... ... 299 

11.".. Sunlight and Moonlight, ... ... ... ...301 

116. The Echo on Oxenfell. A Moral. ... ... ... 302 

117. Carl Rittur, ... ... ... ... ... 305 

118. To a Married Friend, (1) ... ... ... ...324 

119. To a Married Friend, (2) ... ... ... ... 324 

120. The Winter River ... ... ... ... ...325 

121. Writtc-n during Illness at Constantinople, ... ... 325 

122. Where the Pinewoods Wave, ... ... ...326 



CONTENTS. 11 

PAGE. 

123. A Spring Lesson, ... ... ... ... ... 327 

124. Christ the Way, ... ... ... ... ...330 

125. The Easter Guest, ... ... ... ... ... 334 

126. The One Want, ... ... ... ... ... 337 

127. Eydal Vale, (1) ... ... ... ... ... 340 

128. Rydal Vale, (2) ... ... ... ... ... 340 

129. The Wounded Lamb, ... ... ... ... 341 

130. A Cottager's Child, ... ... ... ... ... 341 

131. Sunday, ... ... ... ... ... ... 342 

132. The Earth's Heart. To my Niece. ... ... ... 345 

133. My World, ... ... ... ... ...348 

134. On a Child, who Suffered from Fits, ... ... ... 349 

135. The Dog, ... ... ... ... ... ... 349 

136. The Snowy Mountain. A Domestic Poem, ... ... 350 

137. To Little Alice, ... ... ... % ... ... 356 

138. The Ascent of Helvellyn. April 28, 1842. Having as- 

cended Parnassus the same day in the preceding year,... 358 

139. The Poet's Workshop, ... ... ... ... 370 

140. I have Wild Moods, ... ... ... ... 372 

141. An Epistle to a Member of Parliament, ... ... 374 

142. The Future. To my Brother Edward, ... ... 379 

143. To a Friend in Public Life, ... ... ... ... 382 

144. Ennerdale, ... ... ... ... ... 385 

145. A Letter to a Friend, ... ... ... ... 387 

146. The Easter Violets, ... ... ... ... 392 

147. The Last Palatine, ... ... ... ... ... 395 

148. The Ruined Cottage, ... ... ... ... 400 

149. The Rothay, ... ... ... ... ... 404 

150. English Hedges, ... ... ... ... ... 409 

151. Mountain Tarns, ... ... ... ... ... 412 

152. Our Thoughts are Greater than Ourselves, ... ... 416 

153. I Feel a Change, ... ... ... ... ... 416 

154. Effusion on Hearing of a Friend's Death from Malaria 

at Naples, ... ... ... ... ... 417 

155. The Contrast, ... ... ... ... ... 420 

156. Once More Amid the Alder Trees, ... ... ... 424 

157. A Vision of Bright Seas, ... ... ... ... 427 

158. The Year after Travelling, ... ... ... ... 431 

159. Genoa, ... ... ... ... ... ... 431 

160. Names of Good Omen. Therapia on the Bosphorus, ... 434 

161. A Day upon the Euxine Sea, ... ... ... 436 



12 CONTENTS. 

PAGE. 

162. The Plains of Hungary, ... ... ... 440 

163. The Raft from Linz, ... ... ... ... 447 

lti-1. The Heiress of Costing, ... ... ... ...449 

165. The Yellow-IIaiumer, ... ... 458 

Hi.:. I'.amberg, ... ... ... ... ... ... 462 

167. The Daily Tree, ... ... ... ... ... 466 

168. To my Header, ... ... ... ... ... 471 

IC'.t. The Cherwell. A Descriptive Poem, ... ... 472 

170. On the Ramparts at Angouleme, ... ... ... 494 

172. Constantinople, or New Rome. From the Hill above 

the Mosque of Eyoub, ... ... ... ... 496 

171. The Old French Telegraphs, ... ... ... 494 

17:?. A Cold Day in May, 504 

174. The Four Gospels, ... ... ... ... ...505 

17.',. The Church Dull, ... ... ... ... ...507 

17i;. To the Rothay when its course was changed, and the 

writer was about to leave its neighborhood, ... ... 510 

177. Thoughts while Reading History. 

1. The Present, (1) ... ... ... ... 521 

2. The Present, (2) ... ... ... ... 521 

3. Use of the Past, ... ... ... ... 522 

4. Chivalry, ... ... ... ... ... 523 

5. Roman Influences, ... ... ... ... 523 

6. Chivalrous Times, (1) ... ... ... ... 524 

7. Chivalrous Times, (2) ... ... ... ... 524 

8. Chivalrous Times, (3) ... ... ... ... 525 

9. Belgian Towns, (1) ... ... ... ... .025 

10. Belgian Towns, (2) ... ... ... ... 526 

11. Belgian Towns, (3) ... ... ... ...526 

I 1 -'. The rni*a.lfs, ... ... ... ... ... 527 

13. Our Lady in the Middle Ages, ... ... ... 527 

14. The Poor in the Middle Ages, (1) ... ... 528 

\r>. Tlu- 1'oor in the Middle Ages, (2) ... ... 528 

16. The Papacy, ... ... ... ... ... 529 

17. Petrarch and Lather at Some, ... ... ... 529 

18. The Humiliatiou of Henry IV., at Canossa, ... 530 

19. Rien/i ;it Avimion, ... ... ... ... 530 

20. Ordeals, ... ... ... ... ... 531 

178. Prince Amadis. A Biography, ... ... ... 533 



PREFACE. 



BLAME not my verse if echoes of church bells 
With every change of thought or dream are twining, 
Fetching a murmuring sameness from the fells, 
And lakes, and rivers with their inland shining. 
And marvel not in these loose drifting times 
If anchored spirits in their blythest motion 
Dip to their anchors veiled within the ocean, 
Catching too staid a measure for their rhymes. 
An Age comes on, which came three times of old,* 
When the enfeebled nations- shall stand still 
To be by Christian science shaped at will ; 
And the fresh Church, rejecting heathen mould, 
Shall draw her types from Europe's middle night, 
Well-pleased if such good darkness be her light. 

F. W. F. 



* The end of the fourth, the beginning of the thirteenth, and 
the end of the sixteenth centuries. 

13 



PRELUDE TO THE STYRIAN LAKE. 



A SINGLE day ! A single nook of earth ! 

how the heart doth magnify all things 

Embraced within her soft and shadowy rings ! 

What a huge niche to shrine a single mirth, 

A joy obscure as is the Styrian lake, 

Vague as the odorous breath of pinewood brake ! 

Priest of a sylvan chapel, I would call 

The world-worn pilgrim hither to take breath, 

Joining in this my weekday ritual, 

Of nature mixed and our most holy Faith. 

If it be worth no more, at least it gives 

Sweet proof how full the green earth is of glee : 

My days are all like this ; so let it be 

A sample of the life a poet lives. 

F. W. F. 



THE ANNUNCIATION 
OF OUR BLESSED LADY. 



15 



I. 

THE STYRIAN LAKE. 

1. 
THE LAKE. 

WHERE the Styrian mountains rise 
Close to Mariazell, lies 
Buried in a pinewood brake 
A most beautiful green lake. 
Lizard's back is not so green 
As its soft and tremulous sheen ; 
Hermit's home on Athos' hill 
Cannot be a place more still. 
Blissful Covert ! there is not 
Like that Styrian lake a spot 
That I know by land or sea, 
Whose unsleeping memory 
Works so potently in me. 

'Tis good to have a nook of earth 
To be with us in our mirth, 
And to set a haunt apart 
To be household in the heart, 
A local shrine, whence gentle sorrow 
Hope and soothing thought may borrow ; 
And which may be every hour 
In the light, or shade, or shower, 
Or the stillness, or the wind, 
Or the sunset, as the mind 

2 17 



18 THE STYRIAN LAKE. 

Would the light within should vary, 

A true mental sanctuary. 

What may hallow grief, but thought 

And soft feeling closely wrought? 

For the heart, which in its pain 

Can the outer world disdain, 

And the kind earth which we tread, 

How shall it be comforted ? 

And that pensive being, mirth, 

If it be untied from earth, 

Is a wanton, dreamy thing, 

Like a pine-tree's murmuring. 

Styria is a wondrous land, 
Special work of beauty's hand, 
Where amidst the tranquil pines 
Many a green lake meekly shines, 
And upon its bosom glasses 
All the slumberous dark masses 
From the mighty firwoods thrown, 
And white steep, and sunny cone. 
For the forest murmurings, 
And for lawnlike openings 
Where in shady belts of trees 
Nestle the lone villages, 
For sweet brooks and ruined halls 
And romantic waterfalls, 
And a coloring so bright 
That the land is green by night, 
And for echoes waking round 
When the convent-bell shall sound, 
For unwonted woodland grace 
Styria is a wondrous place : 
And it is the nook of earth 



THE STYRIAN LAKE. 19 

That is with me in my mirth, 
A real Eden, whence I borrow 
Food for song and calm for sorrow. 

Most I love that placid lake, 
Buried in the piuewood brake. 
There the little pool is laid 
Quiet in the lisping shade, 
Mountain water in a cup 
To the blue skies looking up, 
With the bubbles brightly beading 
All the gleamy surface, speeding 
Up like silver fish where'er 
Earthy springs mount to the air. 

There the little pool was laid 
Quiet in the pinewood shade, 
When the Roman hosts were come 
To these woods of Noricum. 
Emperors rose and tribunes. fell, 
Earth was governed ill or well ; 
There was famine, there was war, 
And sedition's dreadful jar, 
And man's lot became so dreary 
That the earth grew old and weary. 
Were it not for her free mirth 
Men would make a slave of earth. 
But this way there came no breath 
Of calamity or death. 

They pierced not through the pinewood brake 
To the little Styrian lake. 
All the changes which it saw 
Where by the harmonious law 
And the sweetly pleading reasons 
Of the four and fair-tongued seasons. 



20 THE STYBIAN LAKE. 

Pearl dawn and hazy noon, 

And the yellow-orb&l moon, 

And the purple midnight, came 

Through those very years the same. 

The lake had all its own free will, 

So it was translucent still ; 

For the summer day was fair, 

When the white-banked clouds were there, 

And the bright moths in the air ; 

And the thunder cleared away 

For the evening's slanting ray, 

And the thrushes in the rain 

Sang with all their might and main 

To the young ones in their home : 

What recked they of mighty Rome? 

Not a moth or bird did shine 

Brighter there for Constantine. 

Blessed earth ! O blessed lake ! 

Shut within thy pine wood brake, 

Angels saw thee in thy glee, 

Of the Roman Empire free ! 

Then romantic days came on ; 
Nature still as calmly shone 
On the fragrant pinewood shade 
Where the Styrian lake was laid. 
Earl with belt and knight with spur, 
These made no unwonted stir 
In the green and glossy deep, 
Nor woke the echoes from the steep. 
And if ever highborn maid 
To the river did unlade 
Her sad heart of freight of love, 
When could songs hard fortune move? 



THE STYEIAN LAKE. 21 

Yet the stream forgot the wail 
Ere it passed the sunken vale, 
Where the little tremulous lake 
Sparkles in the hollow brake. 
And the merry hunting-horn, 
Speaking in the cold white morn, 
Bore not on its ringing breath 
Tidings of the newborn Faith. 
Yet methinks 'twere not unmeet 
To believe a trouble sweet, 
Like a new soul, found its road 
Into that retired abode, 
Somewhat of a murmuring 
Through the pine-boughs vibrating, 
When they caught the harmless swell 
Of the earliest convent bell. 
If sound have one human birth 
Blending wholly with the earth, 
Rising, growing, near or far, 
With no other sound at war, 
Which can sorrow or rejoice 
Like a natural earthborn voice, 
Natural as the breezes blowing, 
Pastoral as the oxen lowing, 
'Tis the undulating swell 
Of the woodland abbey bell. 

2. 
THE LEGEND. 

So eleven ages fled 

Since the Lord rose from the dead, 

Maker of this little lake, 



22 THE STYRIAN LAKE. 

Moth and bird and pinewood brake, 

To redeem the sons of earth 

And give to them a better birth, 

Not without the element 

From the earth's own bosom sent, 

Thus to heighten and to bless 

Our old mother's loveliness, 

From her surface to unweave 

All the ravelled web which Eve, 

Name her with a tender thought ! 

Hath o'er field and forest wrought, 

To enrich her with a dower 

Of true sacramental power. 

Not without her blameless gifts 

Jesus her lost children lifts 

To a nature all divine, 

Better, dearest earth ! than thine. 

So eleven ages passed, 

While the pines their shadow cast, 

Making summer noonday cool 

By the green sequestered pool. 

Hither for the love of Mary 
Came a gentle Missionary, 
With an image of black wood 
From an ancient limetree hewed, 
Shaped for her, the Mother mild, 
Blessed Mary with her Child. 
With the Image to the dell 
Came the gift of miracle, 
Shrined within a sylvan Cell. 

Far away mid cultured bowers 
Rose St. Lambert's convent towers, 
The martyred Saint, who bravely stood 



THE STYRIAN LAKE. 23 

Against King Pepin ; and his blood, 
By the lewd Alpais slain, 
Ran in Liege street like lain. 
Out from yon Cistercian home 
This kind-mannered Monk hath come 
With St. Mary and her Child 
So to hallow the green wild. 
Not the moon when she o'ertops 
Lofty Seeberg's ragged copse, 
Clearing all the dusky pine, 
In the starry sky to shine, 
Hunting with her arrowy beam 
Open spots in Salza's stream, 
Where at times it may emerge 
Scarce beyond the forest's verge, 
Not the stealthy breath of spring 
Up the woodlands murmuring, 
Drawing after it a veil 
Of thin green across the dale, 
Like an Angel's robe behind, 
Still, or stirred by odorous wind : 
Not so welcome, moon or spring, 
For the quiet gifts they bring ; 
Advents though they be of bliss, 
They bear not a boon like this, 
Blessed Mary and her Son 
Deep into the woodlands gone, 
One poor monk, a beadsman lowly, 
With gilt vessels rude but holy, 
And a power of miracle 
Shed into the whispering dell, 
Lodged within and screened apart 
In the forest's dusky heart. 



24 THE STYRIAN LAKE. 

Now amid the woodmen nigh 
Marriage is a blissful tie, 
And around the infajnt's birth 
Is a light of Christian mirth, 
And the monk can breathe a breath 
On the anxious face of death. 
Lift is drawn within a ring 
Of most peaceful hallowing. 
To the Mother and the Maid 
These rude men their breasts unlade, 
Seeking to her Son for aid. 
Like the valley's evening mist 
By the pensive sunset kissed, 
Charities and virtues rise 
"With all household sanctities, 
AVhile meek hymns and praises flow 
From the hermitage below ; 
And the little bell is rung 
When the blessed Mass is sung, 
All, a blameless incense, given 
From the pinewoods into Heaven, 
From the shaggy Styrian dell 
Of St. Mary of the Cell. 

Thou wert not unstirred, dear lake ! 
Though perchance thou didst not wake 
From the sleep wherein the wind 
Doth thy green depths seem to bind, 
Sighing sweetly, softly, sadly, 
Sighing sometimes almost gladly, 
As the pinetree only sighs, 
Maker of earth's elegies : 
Thou wert not unstirred that day, 
When upon thy marge at play 



THE STYRIAN LAKE. 25 

First a Christian child was seen, 
White as snowwreath on a green, 
Pure as nature's self, and bright 
With a more abounding light. 

Let the gentle memory 
Of the plain monk honored be, 
He who for the love of Mary 
Hither came a missionary, 
A devout and nameless being 
To the Styrian forests fleeing, 
To baptize the woodman rude 
In this shady solitude, 
And to add a better mirth 
To the glory of the earth. 
Holy monk ! thy good deeds shine 
Above peer or palatine, 
Gleaming through the crowded past 
With a radiance calm and chaste, 
Like a steady, pensive star, 
By itself, and brighter far 
Than the sparkling ruddy ring 
Round the name of some old king. 
Yet thy quiet name is gone 
In the shadow of some throne, 
Lost amid the jewelled throng, 
All embalmed in unwise song. 
Let the pageant pass away, 
There is thy domestic ray ; 
There art thou a lily-flower 
In a most unthought-of bower. 
Or a very fragrant tree, 
Which we smell but cannot see, 
Buried in the tangled wood, 



26 THE STYRIAN LAKE. 

Scenting all the neighborhood. 
Thou, a man of simple ways, 
Never could'st have joyless days ; 
Thou, a man of simple wants, 
Must have loved the sylvan haunts. 
Ever to thy spirit stealing 
With a touch of heavenly feeling. 
Oft I doubt not by this lake, 
Forcing through the pinewood brake, 
Thou didst spend the twilight dim, 
Chanting some rough latin hymn, 
Hallowing the evening air 
With devout half-spoken prayer. 
Mists upon the mighty hills 
And the alder-belted rills, 
Chirping bird and lowly flower, 
And the rainbow in the shower, 
And the air when it receives 
Incense from the withered leaves, 
And the pinetrees in the sun, 
And the green lake at the noon 
Imaging the empty moon, 
W hose unfreighted orb is white 
For the lack of yellow light ; 
Like the Church whose Lord must go 
Ere she can reflect the glow 
Of His glory, deep and vast, 
In her bridal bosom cast, 
So the moon all day must bide 
For an evening Whitsuntide : 
All this common tranquil round, 
This sweet ring of sight and sound, 
Did of old belong to thee, 



THE STYEIAN LAKE. 27 

And to-day belongs to me ; 
And it soothed thy wrinkled brow 
And thy heart thou knew'st not how. 
Ah kind-mannered monk ! I seem, 
As in some strong-featured dream, 
To come nigh and spend an hour 
With thee in this Styrian bower ; 
So much hath the blissful thought 
Of thy doings in me wrought. 
Centuries are yielding things : 
Unity of spirit brings 
Land to land, and year to year, 
And old generations near. 
Thus I walk o'er this green land 
Through the forests hand in hand 
With the simple Missionary, 
Who for love of Mother Mary 
Was content apart to dwell 
With her Image in his cell. 

And thus for full a hundred years 
Simple joys and simple fears 
Compassed some Cistercian brother, 
Beadsman to the blessed Mother ; 
Till it chanced that far away 
In the drear Moravia, 
Margrave Henry dreamed a dream, 
Where the Mother-Maid did seem 
To heal him of his sore disease 
In a cell amid green trees, 
And the visionary lines, 
Pictured Styria's rocks and pines, 
And the Margrave saw the lake, 
And the open pinewood brake. 



28 THE STYRIAN LAKE. 

So he came with trusting soul, 
And St. Mary made him whole. 
Costly Church with tower and bell 
Rises in the sylvan dell, 
Arching o'er the antique cell. 
Now in long and gorgeous line 
Emperors crowd unto the shrine, 
Peers and ladies and proud kings 
Kneel there with their offerings ; 
Silken banners, bright and brave, 
Through the dusky pinewoods wave, 
And the peasants of far lands 
Come with wild flowers in their hands,- 
All come here to Mary's haunt 
With a sorrow or a want. 
Yet I ween the shaggy dell 
Witnessed worthier miracle, 
When the woodmen of the place 
Were transformed by inward grace ; 
And from their wild* manners grew 
Flowers that feed on heavenly dew ; 
And soft thoughts and gentle ways 
Could beguile their rugged days. 
Love of Mary was to them 
As the very outer hem 
Of the Saviour's priestly vest, 
Which they timorously pressed, 
And whereby a simple soul 
Might for faith's sake be made whole. 



THE STYKIAN LAKE. 29 

3. 
CHUKCH MATINS. 

Oh how beautiful was dawn 
On the Styrian mountain lawn, 
When the lights and shadows lay 
Where the night strove with the day ! 
From my window did I look 
Upon Salza's glimmering brook, 
And the valley dark and deep, 
And the ponderous woods asleep ; 
And I saw the little lake 
Like a black spot in the brake. 
And the silver crescent moon 
Of the greenwood month of June, 
Hanging o'er a mountain top 
Seemed her downward course to stop, 
And to look around in wonder 
At the landscape brightening under. 
In the sky there was a light 
Which was not a birth of night, 
A stealthy streak, and pearly pale, 
Like a white transparent veil ; 
And there came a chilly breeze, 
Like the freshness of the seas, 
As though hills and woods on high 
Now were breathing heavily ; 
And among the woodlands wide 
Here and there a wild bird cried. 
Where the dewy alders grow 
I could hear the oxen low ; 



30 THE STYRIAN LAKE. 

But the echo that did follow 
Was a sound more dead and hollow 
Than the leaping voice that fills 
Daylight skies and daylight hills. 
On the pastures was a light 
Which was neither day nor night, 
And the dusky frowning wood 
Still in moonlight shadows stood. 
But a mist o'er Salza's bed 
Hovered like a gossamer thread ; 
And I saw the glorious scene 
Every moment grow more green, 
Day encroaching with sweet light 
On the fairy-land of night. 
I remember well that dawn 
On the Styrian mountain lawn. 

Blessed be the God who made 
Sun and moon, and light and shade, 
Balmy wind and pearly shower, 
Forest tree and meadow flower, 
And the heart to feel and love 
All the joys that round us move ! 
Blessed be the Angels bright, 
Ordering the pomp aright, 
Ministrants of winds and showers, 
Ruddy clouds and sunset hours, 
With fair robe and busy wing 
The mute figures marshalling, 
Like a ceremonial thing ! 
Blessed be the Cross that draws 
From the earth by dreadest laws 
Sparkling streams that cleanse and shine, 
Making little babes divine, 



THE STYEIAN LAKE. 31 

And the grape's red blood, and bread 
Laid upon the Altar dread ; 
Symbols, more than symbols, urns 
Where a Heavenly Presence burns, 
Veils that hide from loving eyes 
Jesus in His strange disguise, 
Making earth to be all rife 
With a supernatural life. 

Sweet into the morning dim 
Rose the happy pilgrim's hymn, 
As he caught from distant height, 
In the grey uncertain light, 
The early flush of summer morning 
Upon Mariazell dawning. 
From the Salza's shady bed, 
From the mountain's rocky head, 
From the earthy path that shines 
Down the steep and through the pines 
From the meadow-lands below 
Like a very stream doth flow 
The sweet song and plaintive greeting 
Of the weary pilgrims meeting ; 
" All hail in thy sylvan tent, 
Mary, fairest Ornament!" 

Mother Mary ! 'tis a thing 
Soothing as the breath of spring, 
In the quiet time to hear 
This wild region far and near 
With the very accents swell 
Of the blessed Gabriel. 
'Tis a wonder and a grace 
In this uncouth pinewood place, 
Mid white rocks and gloomy trees 



32 THE STYRIAN LAKE. 

And old Noric fastnesses, 
To look forth and calmly listen, 
While above the pale stars glisten ; 
And to hear the grateful song 
Of the gentile pilgrim-throng, 
The old angelic greeting, given 
To the Virgin Queen of Heaven. 
"What are ages, what is time 
To a ritual thus Sublime ? 
How shall distance or decay 
Make or mar eternal day ? 
For a heavenly word once spoken 
Is an everlasting token, 
Still by time or space unbroken ; 
And through weary centuries, 
Quivering on the very breeze, 
Word divine and angel breath 
Hover to the ear of faith, 
Finding souls which they may win, 
And meek hearts to enter in. 
I see Mary rapture-bound, 
And the lily-flowers around, 
And the smooth and spotless bed, 
And the Angel overhead, 
And the open casement where 
Blows the fresh and virgin air, 
And Our Lady, mute and pale, 
Listening to the strange "All Hail." 
And I hear years hinder not 
Angel accents on the spot ; 
Hark ! the IStyrian vale is ringing 
With the gentile pilgrims singing. 
Breaking on the quiet dell 



THE STYRIAN LAKE. 33 

Slowly swings the heavy bell, 
And the organ breathes a sound 
Into all the pinewoods round. 
What a trouble of delight 
There hath been the livelong night ! 
Mariazell ! thou hast seen 
Sleepers few this night, I ween. 
One by one the pilgrims throng, 
Coming in with plaintive song ; 
And in many a gaudy shed 
Beads and Crosses are outspread. 
Like the stars that one by one 
Come to shine when day is done, 
Still they flock with merry din, 
From the valley of the Inn, 
From the Ennsland green and deep, 
And the rough Carinthian steep, 
From the two lakes of the Save, 
And the blythe rich banks of Drave, 
And the Mur's rock-shadowed floods, 
That shy hunter of the woods, 
From the low Dalmatian sea, 
And the sea-like Hungary, 
And where Danube's waters pass 
By Belgrade through the morass, 
From Bavaria's sandy dells, 
And the smooth Bohemian fells, 
From Wiirzburg and from Ratisbcn, 
Linz and Passau they have gone ; 
And St. John of Prague hath sent 
Worshippers to Mary's tent, 
Where she waits her serfs to bless 
In the Styrian wilderness. 



34 THE STYRIAN LAKE. 

Still they pass unheeded by ; 
From the village every eye 
Goes with eager anxious look 
Up the Salza's tumbling brook : 
No white banners yet have showed 
On the great Vienna road ; 
In the pauses of the ringing 
They can hear no far-off singing, 
And the signal hath not fired, 
And the youthful groups are tired. 
Yet 'twas whispered overnight 
They'd leave Annaberg ere light. 
Pomp of crowds and festal noise 
Are not numbered in my joys ; 
So I sought the little lake 
And the lonely pinewood brake. 
The sweet day was clouded over, 
And the thunder seemed to hover 
O'er the dark, unruffled flood, 
And the silent neighborhood. 
Scarce a creature seemed to stir 
In that wilderness of fir. 
Not a note of singing bird 
In the tangled dell was heard : 
And the forest lands did wear 
A dark robe of lurid air. 
On the mountains there did press 
A grim dullhearted silentness. 
Peace was round me, and a calm, 
Yet without the soothing balm 
Shed on us by earth and sea 
In their true tranquillity. 
Swarms of moths from out the brake 



THE STYEIAN LAKE. 35 

Fluttered all across the lake, 

And the leaping fishes made 

Dreary splashes in the shade, 

Where an ancient pinetree throws 

O'er the pool its drooping boughs. 

Where the marge was strewn all over 

With a tapestry of clover, 

The dull skies appeared to lower 

On the mute and blameless flower ; 

All the soft and pleasant brightness 

Like a breath passed from its whiteness ; 

As the soul of man whose beauty 

Fades, when the timid sense of duty 

Passes forth with hasty wing, 

Like a wronged and banished thing. 

From the ragged trees on high, 

From the mirky, swaying sky, 

From the summit, white and tall, 

With its black pine coronal, 

A darksome power of gloom did fall, 

Weighing on the little lake, 

Hushing all the pinewood brake, 

Tarnishing each radiant sight, 

Sheathing all the gay green light, 

Deadening every summer sound, 

To a drowsy tingling bound. 

Beauty strove, and strove again, 

And the summer strove in vain. 

Over lake and pines and all 

Was a very funeral pall. 

Can it be a curse doth lurk 

In the heart of earth at work ? 

Yet in that translucent deep, 



36 THE STYRIAN LAKE. 

Furtive beauty seems to creep, 
Like a stealthy sunbeam winding 
Through the ocean-depths, and finding 
Creatures in them, meek and bright, 
Whom to gladden with its light. 
Thus doth earth for ever bless 
True hearts with her loveliness, 
Stealing to them in the storm 
With some fair and happy form, 
Uttering still some joyous sound 
In a bleak and joyless ground, 
Planting moss and brilliant grass 
In the heart of a morass. 
Light within the lake doth move 
AVhen there is no light above. 
And the sunshine which should glow 
In the blue skies, work below, 
As far down as eye can follow 
In the green transparent hollow, 
Streaking it with silvery shoot, 
As though sunbeams could take root 
In the lake with lawless mirth, 
And so shine upwards to the earth. 
Thou alone, dear earth ! of all 
Art a blameless prodigal ! 
When the heaven above is dull, 
And thy yearning heart is full 
Of a wish to solace one 
Who into thy fields hath gone 
To take comfort from thy gladness 
Or courage from thy patient sadness, 
When the cheerless heaven above 
Will not aid thee in thy love, 



THE STYEIAN LAKE. 37 

Thou some inner light canst win 
As though from a heaven within. 
Could I think that still at work 
The primal curse in thee did lurk ? 
Shall a thought of curse come nigh, 
When I hear that Christian cry ? 
Hark ! at last the joyous song 
Of Vienna's pilgrim throng : 
"All hail in thy sylvan tent, 
Mary, fairest Ornament !" 

Tarries the procession still ? 
See ! it winds along the hill, 
Like a snake of green and gold 
In the sunshine all unrolled, 
Or coiling round a mossy tree, 
Fearful and yet fair to see. 
Thus the bright and bending throng 
Slowly draws itself along, 
Swayed by modulating song. 
Mitred prelates at its head 
Upon flowers and sweet flags tread. 
Gifts from kings of foreign lands, 
Banners worked by royal hands, 
And a hundred shining things, 
Peer's or peasant's offerings, 
Move along the uneven ground, 
While the distant thunders sound. 
'Ere I reached them I could hear, 
Filling all the forest near, 
" Mariazell ! schonste Zier ! " 
Plaintive burden, that will quiver 
In my spell-bound ear for ever. 

My dear land ! I thought of thee ; 



38 THE STYRIAN LAKE. 

Aud I thought how scantily, 
In what thrifty rivulets, 
Faith's weak tide among us sets. 
And I looked with tearful eyes, 
With an envious surprise, 
Upon that huge wave that passed, 
On the Styrian highlands cast 
With a mighty, sea-like fall 
From the Austrian capital. 

O'er twelve hundred fcneelers there 
Hangs a veil of odorous air, 
Rising up in twin blue spires 
From the swinging censer-fires. 
And through all the gloomy pile, 
Like a river down each aisle, 
With a strong and heavy flowing 
Are the pealing organs blowing ; 
And the banners rich and brave 
On the current lightly wave, 
Like the willow bough that quivers 
On the bosom of the rivers. 

While the mighty hymns were swelling 
I passed from out the sacred dwelling, 
With full heart and burning thought ; 
So much had the ritual wrought, 
That I scarcely could control 
The strong impulse of my soul 
To fall down and weep outright 
At the great and solemn sight. 
When from that full house of prayer 
I passed into the open air, 
Ah ! did ever sweet surprise 
From old objects so arise 



THE STYRIAN LAKE. 39 

With a strange, bewildering power, 
As in that most thrilling hour ? 

In the western porch I stood 
Amid mountain wastes and wood, 
And the hollow tolling thunder, 
And the misty valleys under, 
Cloud-strewn forests with stray gleams, 
And the alder-belted streams, 
In the rain the pinewoods singing, 
With a rustling whisper ringing, 
Nature filling all the senses 
With her blameless influences. 
For the rocky foaming floods 
And the wet and dripping woods 
Fresher and more fragrant are 
Than the incense-loaded air. 
Mid this glory I am free, 
Mother-Maid ! to think of thee, 
And with fervent faith to trace, 
In this dusky sylvan place, 
Footprints of true miracle 
Wrought within the savage dell, 
And the work, blest Mother Mary ! 
Of thine ancient missionary. 
When the crowd have left the shrine, 
Then the season shall be mine ; 
Then shall silent Aves swell 
In a heart that loves thee well, 
A heart that owes its life to thee 
A slave whom Mary hath set free. 

I cannot pray amidst a crowd, 
Nor with organs pealing loud, 
Nor with chains upon my sense 



40 THE STYRIAN LAKE. 

From ritual magnificence. 

Ever fair forms like tyrants bind 

With spells the currents of my mind. 

Sweet sighs and sounds my spirit fill, 

And ritual beauty leads me still 

A passive victim at its will. 

The creature of all outward shows, 

My heart into the pageant throws 

Its ardent self, and dreamily 

Floats out as on a sunny sea. 

When the Church with functions bright 

Wraps calmer spirits in delight, 

I am rather proud of God, 

Than humbly at His footstool bowed ; 

And mid the beautiful display 

I feel and love but cannot pray. 

I would fain be lone with God, 

Else are all my thoughts abroad. 

Quiet altars, Jesus there, 

Mary's image meek and fair, 

Silent whispering twilight round, 

These make consecrated ground I 

Better still with holy poor 

Scattered on the wide church-floor. 

With the tinkling beads they tell, 

And whispers scarcely audible. 

Shame on myself! upon my breast 

So lightly doth God's presence rest, 

So little inward turned my soul, 

So much beneath the eye's control, 

That holy pomp and pageant rare 

Only make poetry spoil prayer. 



THE STYRIAN LAKE. 41 

4. 
MAEGAEET'S PILGEIMAGE. 

Now why weep ye by the shrine, 

Ye two maidens ? Wherefore twine 

Roses red and sprigs of pine, 

With a busy absent air, 

Round the pilgrim-staffs ye bear ? 

From Vienna with high heart 

Ye set forward to take part 

In the pilgrimage of grace 

To St. Mary's sylvan place, 

Three fair sisters, loveliest three 

In the pilgrim company. 

See ! encased in many a gem 

Mary with her diadem, 

And, sweet thought ! Mother mild 

Lifts on high her holy Child : 

As the pensive artist thought 

So hath he the limewood wrought. 

Why stand ye thus sorrow-bound, 

While the train is kneeling round ? 

And the little Margaret too 

With her eyes of merry blue, 

Wherefore is she not with you ? 

And the staff she was so long 

In selecting from the throng 

In the Graben, weeks ago 

'Ere the flowers began to blow, 

And then took it to be blessed 

At Saint Stephen's by the priest, 



42 THE STYRIAN LAKE. 

Hatli it failed her, faint and weary, 
In some Styrian pinewood dreary ? 
Ah ! she felt the dogstar rage, 
And she fain her thirst would swage- 
It was her first pilgrimage 
At a cold and brilliant spring 
By the wayside murmuring. 
Ah sweet child ! bright, happy flower ! 
She was broken from that hour. 
They have left her on the steep 
Of green Annaberg asleep, 
With crossed hands upon her breast 
Her choice staff is lightly pressed. 
Margaret will awake no more, 
Save upon a calmer shore. 

Oh what can the sisters say 
To the couple far away ? 
What will the old burgher do, 
Since those eyes of merry blue, 
The truest sunlight of his home, 
Never, never more can come ? 
See ! they sing not, but they gaze 
Deep into the jewelled blaze, 
And the thought within them swells, 
Mary hath worked miracles ! 
And they weep and gaze alway, 
As though they were fain to say, 
" Mother Mary, couldst thou make 
Gretchen from her sleep awake ? " 

Thus often fares it upon earth 
With a long-expected mirth : 
And when hope is strained too much, 
it shivers at the touch. 



THE STYRIAN LAKE. 43 

Even from a holy rite 

There may fade the cheering light, 

When for long its single thought 

Deep within the heart hath wrought. 

This will sometimes quell the ray 

Even of an Easter Day. 

Deem not thou no grace is there, 

Though the rite seem cold and bare, 

Though it be a weary thing, 

A dull, and formal offering. 

It may lodge a light within, 

Wrestling with the shades of sin, 

And like frankincense may be 

To think of in our memory. 

When the gay procession passed 
I knew not what sad cloud was cast 
On these sisters, sorrow-laden, 
By the death of that fair maiden. 
When it drew itself along, 
As one creature, bright and strong, 
All instinct with life and song, 
Like a child I did not think 
That each bending joint and link 
Of the sinuous pageant could 
Be real hearts of flesh and blood, 
Fountains of true hopes and fears, 
With ebb and flow of smiles and tears, 
Each a separate orb that moves 
In a sphere of pains and loves. 
To mine eye it did but seem 
As a very fluent dream, 
And it filled me with a sense 
Of joy, and not of reverence. 



44 THE STYKIAN LAKE. 

Ah ! to many this great world 
Is a pageant thus unfurled, 
Banners waving in the air, 
Catching sunlight here and there, 
O'er uneven places swaying, 
Or in quiet woods delaying, 
Everywhere fresh shapes displaying, 
As the clouds their forms unbind 
To new figures in the wind ; 
And aye man's voiceful destinies, 
Like the surge of meeting seas, 
Are to them but some wild song 
Breathing from the gilded throng. 
Thus do idle poets stand 
Lonely on the tide-ribbed sand, 
Watching the bright waters roll 
As a beauty without soul, 
Knowing nothing of the worth 
Of a human woe or mirth, 
Or of that true dignity 
Which in love and sorrow lie. 
And the books they write are all 
But a mute processional, 
Lifeless rubrics, canons dull 
Of the bright and beautiful, 
Formal wisdom, without stir 
Of passion-tempered character, 
Or imperial instincts meeting, 
Or a hot heart in it beating. 
But the masters of true song, 
Who would sway the various throng, 
Must in the procession walk, 
To their fellow-pilgrims talk, 



THE STYRIAN LAKE. 45 

Weep or smile on every thing 
With a kindly murmuring, 
And that murmur so shall be 
An immortal melody. 

Sisters twain ! through now ye sorrow, 
Ye shall have a calmer morrow ; 
Mariazell shall become 
In long years a placid home 
For remembrances, and tears 
Which spring not out of pains or fears ; 
And this pilgrimage that seems 
Broken up like baffled dreams, 
Then shall be a very haunt 
For your spirits when they want 
Of soft feeling deep to drink : 
It shall be a joy to think 
How the merry Margaret sleeps 
Mid the Styrian pinewood steeps, 
Safe with childhood's sinless charms 
In her Mother Mary's arms. 

5. 
EAETH'S VESPEKS. 

Once more went I to the lake, 
Buried in the pinewood brake. 
Through the parting clouds the light 
Of the afternoon was bright. 
Beautiful and gay and green 
On my pathway was the scene, 
Gorges full of writhing mist 
By the silver sunbeams kissed, 
And the mountains all displayed 



46 THE STYRIAN LAKE. 

In a marvellous light and shade. 

Close before us there was one, 

Clear and tranquil in the sun, 

And another on whose breast 

Clambering mist-wreaths paused to rest, 

And a third along whose side 

Snowy cloud banks seemed to ride, 

And like a belt to rock and shine 

In a long and level line : 

And one there was, veiled all over 

With thin mists which seemed to hover 

On the mountain-top, and throw 

Silky threads from bough to bough ; 

'Twas lighted up and very fair, 

And transparent as the air, 

And within it rose the hill 

Clothed with sunlight, green and still. 

And the booming of the bells 

And the hymn that came in swells 

.Mingled kindly with the mirth 

Of the jubilant old earth. 

In the lake and in the heaven 

Gloom and beauty now had striven ; 

Changed were all things on the shore, 

For the strife at length was o'er. 

Mists in serpentine array 

Coiled upon the treetops lay ; 

Truthful symbols did they seem 

Of darkness giving way to gleam, 

Drawing off in that sweet hour 

The outskirts of his vanquished power. 

Beauty on the hills was standing, 
In the very lake expanding 



THE STYRIAN LAKE. 47 

With a pure and sparkling green ; 
And the savage pinewood scene 
Did the afternoon embrace 
With a calm and softening grace. 
Stillness was in all her veins, 
Earth's thanksgiving after rains, 
Tuneful as the stormy praise 
Of wild woods on windy days, 
Or the benedicite 
Of the angry purple sea. 
ISTot a single sound was heard, 
Save the voice of one shy bird, 
And the woodman's axe on high, 
And the drowsy sheepbell nigh. 
There was not a fall of wind 
From the clover to unbind 
Odours that lay fettered there, 
And to shed them on the air. 
Ruddy-armored perch did press 
To the margin motionless. 
And the summer afternoon, 
Holding court that day of June, 
Throned herself with lustre mild 
On the blissful Styrian wild. 
O how often have I known 
Quiet thought herself enthrone, 
After tempest, on my mind 
Without any breathing wind 
Of sweet language, which could bind 
In the bonds and links of song 
All the glorious regal throng, 
Kindled fancy's courtier crowd, 
Which came o'er me like a cloud : 



48 THE STYRIAX LAKE. 

Times of quiet thought they are, 
Like this very bright mute air, 
Filling as a soul the lake 
And the odorous pinewood brake, 
With the calm and speechless scene 
Passive in the sunny green. 
They are fancy's afternoons, 
Shadows of her leafy Junes, 
Shedding, \vhere the heart is calm, 
New power in the quiet balm. 
Though he fret at fruitless hours 
Spent in rapture's voiceless bowers, 
Yet the poet oft must bless 
His passive spirit's silentness, 
As the future salient spring 
Of true minstrel murmuring. 

Song is an exile from above, 
Like a wanderer in love, 
Falling both by laud and sea 
Into strangest company, 
Ruling, wheresoever thrown, 
With a sweet will of its own. 
Fancy, like the earth, hath dew, 
Keeping green the spirit's hue, 
Falls of moisture which renew 
Hearts that falter and grow weary 
From the sense that life is dreary, 
With such freshness that the glory 
Of our thoughts is never hoary. 

There are sabbaths in the mind, 
Which in deepest quiet bind 
Love and passion and the world 
With its glowing landscapes furled, 



THE STYRIAN LAKE. 49 

When the song of vernal bird 
Like a common sound is heard, 
When the sun and wind and shower 
And the rainbows have no power, 
And the foi'est and the lake 
Can no inward echo wake. 
Memories of smiles and tears 
Treasured up in other years, 
Sorrow suffered, actions done, 
Self-restraints by patience won, 
Rights of grief and rights of love, 
Things which once the soul could move 
With a deeper ebb and flow 
Than the freeborn oceans know, 
Now are dull and nerveless things, 
Like a forest's murmurings 
Falling on the unpleased ear 
Of a listless traveller. 
And from all things there hath passed 
Powers they once might have to cast 
Shadows, from whose tender gloom 
We might free, as from a womb, 
Truths that shall outlive the tomb. 

Yet shall true-born poet deem 
Mental sabbaths but a dream, 
Languor, and a falling back 
Of the weary soul for lack 
Of high hope and strength of wing 
In such thin air hovering? 
Shall he call such quiet time 
Faintings after moods sublime, 
As though rapture's light could scathe 
Spirits, like a fit of wrath ? 

4 



50 THE STYRIAN LAKE. 

Mystery and loveliness 
Gender no such wild excess ; 
Mirth and beauty lay not waste 
Flowery paths where they have passed. 
In such times of inward sinking 
Fancy may perchance be drinking 
Waters in some holier spirit, 
Out of earth, in Heaven, or near it. 
True it is that a sweet spring 
Cannot be a self-born thing ; 
It must have a leafy place 
Or a mountain's rocky face. 
Its beginning and its going, 
And the surety of its flowing 
Not a single, rainy day, 
Nor at seasons, but alway, 
These depend on other things, 
The green covert whence it springs, 
And the weeping clouds of heaven 
Out of which the rain is given, 
And the ponderous old hills, 
The treasuries of crystal rills. 
So the spirit of sweet song 
Not entirely doth belong 
Unto him who hath been bidden 
To let it flow through him unchidden, 
And to keep its fountain hidden. 
How should he know all the causes 
Of its gushes and its pauses, 
How it visits the well-head 
Whence it is replenished, 
What it hears, or what it sees, 
How it hath its increases ? 



THE STYRIAN LAKE. 51 

"Where and whensoe'er it goes, 
This one thing the poet knows, 
That the spirit, wake or sleeping, 
Is not now beneath his keeping. 

For, if it should leave him not, 
Whence are its fresh pulses got? 
After all this seeming dullness, 
Whence the beam, the burst, the fulness, 
When the dark and bright of life, 
Involutions of its strife, 
And the duties complicate 
Of this heavy mortal state, 
And the gold and purple maze 
Which the past is, to our gaze 
Looking into other days, 
And the passions which have rent 
Worse than warring element, 
Earth's fair surface where we dwell, 
All within the spirit swell, 
And burst from us loud and strong, 
Claiming utterance in song. 

Whence except from out of heaven 
Are the moulds of greatness given, 
And the beautiful creations, 
And the song-like visitations 
Of high thoughts, wherewith we borrow, 
Grandeur out of love and sorrow, 
When the weight of men's distresses 
On our solemn spirit presses, 
With a sound in its recesses 
When our fellow-mortals call, 
And we own a kindred thrall 
In responses musical, 



52 THE STYRIAX LAKE. 

When the mystery of things 
From our tortured spirit wrings 
These loud wails of melody, 
As from eagles in the sky ? 

Whence the fragrant under-growth. 
Which is springing nothing loth 
All around us every hour 
With fresh moss and modest flower, 
In our fancy's stillest bower, 
And those lowlier sweetnesses 
Borne to us on every breeze ? 

After dulness what a thing 
Is our heart's awakening, 
When a scattering of dew 
Unawares makes all things new, 
As a bunch of cold wet flowers 
On our brow in feverish hours ! 
Like an unimprisoned boy, 
Heaviness encounters joy 
In the face of an old mountain, 
In the splash of an old fountain, 
In the sun and wind and rain, 
Like things lost and found again ; 
Till we own we never know 
Common blooms that round us blow, 
Common treasures strewn about us, 
Close at hand, and scarce without us. 
Whence are all these wakenings given, 
If it be not out of heaven ? 
That the might in poet's breast 
Wholly in himself doth rest, 
Wholly from himself doth come, 
As though he could be the home 



THE STYRIAN LAKE. 53 

Of the beautiful bright throng 
He but weaveth into song 
Were a creed to disenchant 
Music's best and holiest haunt, 
And to leave on land or sea 
Not a home for minstrelsy. 

Beauty is a thing that grows, 
Like love or grief; and who knows 
If in dulness and in calm 
Fancy does not gather balm 
In far fields that bud and swell 
With spiritual asphodel ? 
O how beautiful is quiet 
After fancy hath run riot, 
Waking love and waking mirth 
Over all the sleepy earth ! 
O how beautiful to look 
On kind eyes, as on a book, 
Reading love that hath been beaming 
All the while our hearts were teeming 
With unearthly thoughts and visions, 
Floating in with sweet collisions ! 
And how beautiful a thing 
Is our dull life's welcoming, 
When we learn, while we were ranging, 
That household earth hath not been changing, 
And that houses, trees, and faces, 
Are not wildly shifting places, 
That there are domestic blisses, 
Which the studious spirit misses, 
Still a common human heart, 
Though we were awhile apart ! 
O there is a gracious fulness 



54 THE STYRIAX LAKE. 

In this very seeming dulness, 
When the littleness of life 
Is more welcome than its strife, 
Or we in wise moods confess 
That strife is but a littleness ! 
There is not a choicer bower, 
Than the spirit, in the hour 
When peace cometh after power ; 
And what hath the earth of beauty 
Like the calms that follow duty ? 

This hath been a day of joy 
Much too simple for alloy, 
One pure day that well may shine, 
Like stars amid the twilight pine. 
Now behold ! the tranquil power 
Of the summer-evening hour 
Is enthroned upon the spot ; 
And the pageant cometh not 
With the gauzy purple veil 
Of the English twilight pale, 
But winds o'er all the forest scene 
With a light of faint blue green, 
To a thousand pinetops yielding 
Somewhat almost of a gilding. 
There is meaning in the face 
Of the lake and woodland place. 
Something heavenly there must be 
In such deep tranquillity. 
With meet prayer and gratitude 
I went from out the solitude ; 
And to Mariazell wending, 
Up the pine-clad steep ascending, 
I beheld the dark clouds drooping, 



THE STYRIAN LAKE. 55 

Once more to the mountains stooping. 

Yet along the ridges dim 

Lay a luminous gold rim, 

Such as makes me think the while 

That beyond in brightest smile 

Lies a very radiant shore 

I have visited before, 

In my boyhood, or in gleams, 

Shed on my far-travelled dreams. 

The one woodless mountain too, 
Was of brilliant golden hue, 
And its precipices hoary 
Touched with sunset's mellow glory. 
From a hollow white-mouthed cave 
Rose a symbol, calm and grave, 
A broken rainbow whose bright end 
In the cavern did descend, 
With mute stationary mirth, . 
Like a very growth of earth. 
The dark clouds now a moment hover 
They descend the pomp is over ! 

For the day's exceeding beauty 
There must be returns of duty, 
And to Christ who thus hath given, 
Sights and sounds in earth and heaven, 
We must answer at the last 
For the pageantry now past. 
Hark ! how plaintively they sing ; 
Never was on natural thing 
A more touching commentary 
Than the pilgrim's Ave Mary ! 



56 THE CHERWELL WATER-LILY. 



II. 

THE CHERWELL WATER-LILY. 
1. 

BRIGHT came the last departing gleam 

To lonely Cherwell's silent stream, 

And for a moment stayed to smile 

On tall St. Mary's graceful pile. 

But brighter still the glory stood 

On Marston's scattered lines of wood. 

The lights that through the leaves were sent, 

Of gold and green were richly blent ; 

Oh ! beautiful they were to see, 

Gilding the trunk of many a tree, 

Just ere the colors died away 

In evening's meditated gray. 

Sweet meadow-flowers were round me spread, 

And many a budding birch-tree shed 

Its woodland perfume there ; 
And from its pinkly-clustering boughs, 
A fragrance mild the hawthorn throws 

Upon the tranquil air. 
Deep rung St. Mary's stately chime 
The holy hour of compline time, 
And, as the solemn sounds I caught 
Over the distant meadows brought, 
I heard the raptured nightingale 
Tell, from yon elmy grove, his tale 



THE CHERWELL WATER-LILY. 57 

Of melancholy love, 
In thronging notes that seemed to fall 
As faultless and as musical 

As angel strains above : 
So sweet, they cast on all things round 
A spell of melody profound. 
They charmed the river in its flowing, 
They stayed the night-wind in its blowing, 
They lulled the lily to her rest, 
Upon the Cherwell's heaving breast. 

2. 

How often doth a wildflower bring 
Fancies and thoughts that seem to spring 

From inmost depths of feeling ! 
Nay, often they have power to bless 
With their uncultured loveliness, 
And far into the aching breast 
There goes a heavenly thought of rest 

With their soft influence stealing. 
How often, too, can ye unlock, 
Dear Wildflowers ! with a gentle shock, 

The wells of holy tears, 
While somewhat of a Christian light 
Breaks sweetly on the mourner's sight 

To calm unquiet fears ! 
Ah ! surely such strange power is given 
To lovely flowers, like dew, from heaven ; 
For lessons oft by them are brought, 
Deeper than mortal sage hath taught, 
Lessons of wisdom pure, that rise 
From some clear fountains in the skies ! 



58 THE CHERWELL WATER-LILY. 



3. 

Fairest of Flora's lovely daughters 
That bloom by stilly-running waters, 
Fair Lily ! thou a type must be 
Of virgin love and purity ! 
Fragrant thou art as any flower- 
That decks a lady's garden-bower. 
But he who would thy sweetness know, 
Must stoop and bend his loving brow 
To catch thy scent, so faint and rare 
Scarce breathed upon the summer &ir. 
And all thy motions, too, how free, 
And yet how fraught with sympathy ! 
So pale thy tint, as meek thy gleam 
Shed on thy kindly father-stream ! 
Still, as he swayeth to and fro, 

How true in all thy goings, 
As if thy very soul did know 

The secret of his Sowings. 
And then that heart of living gold, 
Which thou dost modestly infold, 
And screen from man's too searching view 
Within thy robe of snowy hue ! 
To careless men thou seem'st to roam 

Abroad upon the river, 
In all thy movements chained to home, 

Fast-rooted there for ever : 
Linked by a holy, hidden tie, 
Too subtle for a mortal eye, 
Nor riveted by mortal art, 
Deep down within thy father's heart. 



MEMORIALS OF A HAPPY TIME. .59 

Emblem in truth them art to me 

Of all a daughter ought to be ! 

How shall I liken thee, sweet flower ! 

That other men may feel thy power, 

May seek thee on some lovely night, 

And say how strong, how chaste the might, 

The tie of filial duty, 
How graceful too, and angel-bright, 

The pride of lowly beauty ! 
Thou sittest on the varying tide 
As if thy spirit did preside 
With a becoming, queenly grace, 
As mistress of this lonely place ; 
A quiet magic hast thou now 
To smooth the river's ruffled brow, 

And calm his rippling water : 
And yet so delicate and airy, 

Thou art to him a very fairy; 

A widowed father's only daughter. 



III. 
MEMORIALS OF A HAPPY TIME. 

' Ointment and perfumes rejoice the heart : and the good counsels of a 
friend are sweet to the soul." PROVERBS, xxvii. 9. 

1. 

THE MEETING. 

TELL me, ye Winds and Waves ! what power compels 

Souls far apart to be together brought, 

Tli at they may love each other, spirits taught 



60. MEMORIALS OF A HAI'PY TIMK. 

To stoop and listen by Truth's ancient wells ; 
Guiding their lives with the calm motion caught 
From their pure earthborn murmurings, the swells 
Of whose soft falling streams go chiming on, 
Heard best by hearts that travel there alone ! 
One have I met, so meek a soul, that dwells 
In his own lowly spirit's cloistered cells : 
Him by that ancient mountain-rill I found, 
Touched mid the heedless throng with holiest spells, 
Striving to catch the stream's low thrilling sound, 
Where in a savage place it runneth underground. 

2. 

THE LESSON. 

Listen another strain ! I long had thought 
The scourge austere and stern self-punishment 
To school impatient spirits had been sent, 
And hoped their task would long ere this be wrought. 
Man works in haste, for speed with him is might : 
In depth and silence God's great works are laid, 
As in foundation-stones, all dimly bright. 
The world well knows it hath but one brief hour, 
And hurries by while judgment is delayed ; 
And it is gifted with a fearful power 
Of holding back its own dark day of doom : 
But God keeps shrouded in His ancient gloom, 
Watching things travel to His own vast will ; 
So He works on, and man keeps thwarting still. 

3. 

THE VISION. 

That healthy wisdom did I late unfold 
Out of a precious type to me endeared. 



v 



MEMORIALS OF A HAPPY TIME. 61 

I saw an altar to the Graces reared, 

Of chaste proportions, by a green way -side. 

Trees of all sorts stood round it, gray and old, 

Blending their various leaves with solemn pride, 

A venerable shade it seemed to me, 

Where neither gloom nor garish light could be. 

Daily from off the shrine to azure heaven 

The quiet incense of soft thought was given ; 

And ever rose, as if on angel's wings, 

The breezelike scent of high imaginings, 

Fragrant of glory I had never dreamed, 

So modest and so low that little altar seemed. 

4. 
THE TEACHER. 

This was thy heart where I did fondly trace 
The way that God had gone : in little things 
And childish growths I found the hidden springs 
Where He had put His virtue. Thy short race 
In holy calm and evenness hath past. 
Oh ! how unlike those gay and wayward hearts 
That might in Athens rise to bear their parts 
In the Greek torch race : and with giddy haste 
Wave their bright pine about, and quench its blaze, 
Types of their own wild course in after days ! 
Thy soul's most secret growings I have seen, 
Ordered by God so quietly and slow, 
That thou thyself, dear friend, dost scarcely know 
Or what thou art or what thou mightst have been. 



62 MEMORIALS OF A HAPPY TIME. 

5. 
THE TWO RIVERS. 

Come with me through these mountain-vales, and see ! 

Two bravely-flowing streams this way have gone ; 

Must musical their flowing is to me, 

So I will moralize awhile thereon. 

One decks the eastern vale the loveliest ; 

The other dashes onward from the west. 

They join in quiet fields : you scarce can know 

Which was the first to join. So, as is meet, 

The gentler nature doth the sterner greet, 

Because its name is softer and more sweet : 

And he, the elder, loves to have it so. 

Then in a lake they blend their kindred flow, 

And it is said, and so it ought to be, 

That they in one bright stream pass onward to the sea. 

6. 

THE YOUNGER KIVER. 

[THE ROTHAY.] 

Come now and see yon orient vale outspread, 
And mark the windings of my favorite rill ; 
For the wan olive-lights are on the hill, 
Dear autumn's choicest boon : and there is shed 
A most surpassing glory on the stream, 
Kindled just now by evening's purple gleam. 
Yon lake with shady islands gave it birth, 
To it yon English village doth belong, 
And many a night the joyousness and mirth 
Of its dear flow hath been my vesper song. 
See how it peeps in meadows fringed with flowers, 



MEMORIALS OF A HAPPY TIME. 63 

Or nestles jealously mid leafy bowers, 
As if it almost felt, and shunned to show 
The gracefulness that makes men love it so. 

7. 

THE ELDER RIVEK. 

[THE BRATHAY.] 

Now follow me to yonder gloomy hills 
That to the westward rise : a thousand rills 
Gush wildly from their rifted sides to form 
That dark, romantic river's early course. 
It is the nursling of the cloudy storm, 
And carries somewhat of its mother's force 
Along with it : leaping with one mad bound 
Over a rocky fall. Yet are there found 
Pools of most silent beauty, calm and deep ; 
Though there, too, glittering foam-bells tell a tale 
Of things before it reached that placid vale, 
Where the new church o'erhangs its woodland sweep. 
Oh ! how these brooks with hidden meanings teem, 
Which no one in the world but you and I would dream 



THE PREPARATION. 

The clouds lay folded on the mountain's brow, 
A huge and restless curtain drooping low. 
This way and that it waved with solemn swell, 
And from behind it flakes of sunlight fell 
On many a patch of redly withering fern, 
Melting away upon them : far above 
Vast shapes were seen, uncouth and horrible, 



64 MEMORIALS OF A HAPPY TIM K. 

Masses of jagged rock that seemed to move, 
Turning where'er the rolls of clouds did turn, 
Piled up on high, a grim and desolate throne : 
But no one was there that might sit thereon. 
All preparation had been made for One 
Who had not come. Ah ! surely we must say, 
They looked for God being out on some great work 
that day ! 

9. 
THE WHEELS. 

There are strange solemn times when serious men 
Sink out of depth in their own spirit, caught 
All unawares, and held by some strong thought 
That comes to them, they know not how or when, 
And bears them down through many a winding cell 
Where the soul's busy agents darkly dwell ; 
Each watching by his wheel that, bright and bare, 
Revolveth day and night to do its part 
In building up for Heaven one single heart. 
Ami moulds of curious form are scattered there, 
As yet unused, the shapes of after deeds ; 
And veiled growths and thickly sprouting seeds 
Are strewn, in which our future life doth lie 
Sketched out in dim and wondrous prophecy. 

* 10. 
THE GLIMPSE. 

Our many deeds, the thoughts that we have thought 
They go out from us thronging every hour ; 
And in them all is folded up a power 



MEMORIALS OF A HAPPY TIME. 65 

That on the earth doth move them to and fro : 
And mighty are the marvels they have wrought 
In hearts we know not, and may never know. 
Our actions travel and are veiled : and yet 
We sometimes catch a fearful glimpse of one 
When out of sight its march hath well-nigh gone, 
An unveiled thing which we can ne'er forget ! 
All sins it gathers up into its course, 
And then they grow with it, and are its force : 
One day with dizzy speed that thing shall come, 
Recoiling on the heart that was its home. 



. 11. 
THE PERPLEXITY. 

And therefore when I look into my heart, 
And see how full it is of mighty schemes, 
Some that shall ripen, some be ever dreams, 
And yet, though dreams, shall act a real part, 
When I behold of what and how great things 
I am the cause, how quick the living springs 
That vibrate in me, and how far they go, 
Thought doth but seem another name for fear ; 
And I would fain sit still, and never rise 
To meddle with myself, God feels so near. 
And all the time He moveth, calm and slow 
And unperplcxcd, though nuked to His eyes, 
A thousand thousand spirits pictured are, 
Kenned through the shroud that wraps the Heaven 
of heaven afar ! 



66 MEMOEIALS OF A HAPPY TIME. 

'12. 
THE COMPLAINT. 

I heard thee say that thou wert slow of speech ; 

Thou didst complain thy words could never reach 

Thy height of thy conceptions. Ah ! dear friend, 

Envy thou not the eloquent their gift. 

Fierce reckless acts and thoughts' unbridled range 

And cherished passion that at times hath rocked 

Their soul to its foundations, these do lift 

Them into eloquence : 'tis sad to spend 

So great a price, to win so poor a dower. 

Thine is a deep clear mind : nor inward change 

Nor outward visitation yet hath shocked 

Thy heart into a consciousness of power. 

So calm and beautiful thou art within, 

Thou scarce canst see how like power is to sin. 

13. 
THE VOICE. 

"The multitude, therefore, that stood and heard, said that it thundered; 
others said, An angel spoke to Him." St. JOHK, xii. 29. 

A voice from ancient times comes up this way ; 

Dost thou not hear it like a trumpet call ? 

O with what startling accents doth it fall 

On ears that love a softer siren sound ! 

To them like muttering thunder still it seems, 

Though all the sky is open, free and gay. 

Month follows month, and year doth grow to year, 

And the strong voice keeps waxing yet more clear. 

The world is full of symptoms of decay, 

Feverish and intermittent, struck with fear, 



MEMORIALS OF A HAPPY TIMK. 67 

Starting unconsciously in savage dreams, 
Like aged men with sickly opiates bound. 
It spake again : surely it cometh near, 
Let us go out upon the tower, and hear ! 

14. 
THE TEMPLE. 

" Know you not that your members are the Temple of the Holy Ghost ? " 
I COR. vi. 19. 

Come, I have found a Temple where to dwell : 

Sealed up and watched by Spirits day and night 

Behind the Veil there is a crystal Well. 

The glorious cedar pillars sparkle bright, 

All gemmed with big and glistening drops of dew, 

That work their way from out yon hidden flood 

By mystic virtue through the fragrant wood, 

Making it shed a faint unearthly smell. 

And from beneath the curtain, that doth lie 

In rich and glossy folds of various hue, 

Soft showers of pearly light run streamingly 

Over the chequered floor and pavement blue. 

Oh ! that our eyes might see that Font of Grace, 

But none hath entered yet his own heart's Holy Place. 

15. 

THE PRIEST. 



"And the people were waiting for Zachary." ST. LUKK, i. 21. 

As morning breaks or evening shadows steal , 
Duties and thoughts throng round the marble stair, 
Waiting for Him who burneth incense there, 
Till He shall send to bless them, as they kneel. 
Greater than Aaron is the mighty Priest 



68 MEMORIALS OP A HAPPY TIME 

Who in that radiant shrine for ever dwells, 
Brighter the stones that stud His glowing vest, 
And ravishing the music of His bells, 
That tinkle as He moves. The golden air 
Is filled with motes of joy that dance and run 
Through every court, and make the temple one. 
The lamps are lit ; 'tis past the hour of prayer, 
And through the windows is there lustre thrown, 
Deep in the Holy Place the Priest doth watch alone. 

16. 
THE HUMILIATION. 

Yes, Lord ! 'tis well my suffering should be deep ; 
So with unsparing hand fill Thou the cup 
Of bitter thought, and I will drink it up, 
And then lie calmly down, yet not to sleep: 
But like a guilty child 7 in penitence 
When some unruly act hath first destroyed 
Within his little soul the quiet sense 
Of filial love and careless innocence ; 
And, as he feels his bliss with fear alloyed, 
He wakes, he knows not why, all night to weep. 
All human feeling grown to be intense 
Comes nigh to sin ; yet ah ! m^greedy heart 
Cannot without a thankless murmur part 
From that pure dream it hath so long enjoyed. 

17. 
THE HAUNTED PLACE REVISITED. 

I came again fair Esthwaite lake to view 

The place thy spirit haunts ; while sun and shower 



MEMORIALS OP A HAPPY TIME. 69 

In light and shade contented every hour, 
And both were beautiful. The lake was still : 
Rich autumn lights were grouped upon the hill 
Mid purple heather and bright orange fern. 
Oh what a scene was there ! The scarlet hue 
Of the wild cherry-tree did strangely turn 
To mockery the alder's solemn gray : 
And as I Avept outright, it seemed say 
"What! art thou he that was so proud and stern? 
Look at that silly furze all new and gay, 
Poor plant ! 'tis budding forth and blossoming 
As if one year could have a second spring." 

18. 
A DREAM. 

A spirit came upon me in the night, 
And led me gently down a rocky stair 
Unto a peopled garden, green and fair, 
Where all the day there was an evening light. 
Trees out of every nation blended there. 
The citron shrub its golden fruit did train 
Against an English elm : 'twas like a dream 
Because there was no wind ; and things did seem 
All near and big, like mountains before rain. 
Far in those twilight bowers beside a stream 
The soul of one who had but lately died 
Hung listening, with a brother at his side ; 
And no one spoke in all that haunted place, 
But looked quietly into each other's face. 



70 /$*pCMOURNER'S DREAM. 




THE MOURNER'S DREAM. 

ARISING FROM A STRANGE AND DISTRESSING IMPRESSION OF A 
FRIEND'S DEATH IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY. 

" Wir mussen nacti der Heimath gehn 
Um dlese heil'ge Zeit zu sehn." NOVALIS 

By a steep winding vale I left 

A terrace in a mountain cleft. 

Old pines with ruddy boles were there 

Half-gilded by the sunny air. 

The holm oaks, planes, and service-trees 

Hung motionless without a breeze. 

No vernal gale or summer stir 

Bent the green cones upon the fir. 

No water, tinkling as it fell, 

Taught the young birds their earliest sound, 
Or in its murmuring way unbound 

The sylvan languor of the dell. 

All through the shaggy gorge were seen 

Tree-tops and folds of various green ; 

And noon with pleasant silence there 

Loaded the misty drooping air, 

And, birdlike, seemed herself to brood 

O'er a vast couch of glorious wood. 

I chose a moss and wild-flower bed 

Where many-fingered cedars shed 

All down the slope dark flakes of shade, 

And grateful dusky sunlight made. 

Ever before my half-closed eyes 



THE MOURNER'S DREAM. 71 

The sundered mountain-peaks did rise ; 
And though I knew each field and rill 
That lay beyond that mighty hill, 
Yet still the wondrous cleft did seem 
A pass whereby a mourner's dream 

To other worlds might travel, 
And somewhat of his brother's state, 
In dreadest twilight separate, 

Might sleep perchance unravel. 

1. 

THE RUINED HARBOR. 

I stood, methought, in some lone place, 

A fallen city, at whose base 

That summer noon the shining sea 

Made all soft sounds perpetually ; 

And, as it swelled, its liquid fall 

Scarce lifted the weeds on the harbor-wall : 

And the little waves, all one by one, 

Far out in furrows green did run, 

And then lay down and sparkled in the sun 1 

There was no shade, no leafy tree, 

Yet waited I by that fair sea, 

And watched the ocean -water fill 

With its clear self, and at its will, 

The broken harbor's ample round, 

Without a wave and without a sound ! 

So men have watched their friends for hours, 

Filling with silent love, 
While dreams fall on them both in showers, 

Like starlights from above ; 
Till the bright waters, as they rise, 



7 '2 THE MOURNER'S DREAM. 

Mount and run over at the eyes. 

Oh! who that in youth's morning light 

With sails full-set and songs did ride 

Into love's harbor with the tide, 
Hath dreamed that it would ebb at night ? 

Through the long hours of noon I stood 
Alone in that sunny solitude. 
Not a voice was in the weed -grown way 

Not a ship was on the wave, 
The sea was by itself all day, 

And the streets were like a grave, 
All things were still as they could be, 
The sand, the city, and the sea ! 
I lingered there for on my breast 
A weight of weary sorrow pressed ; 
My soul, like a mourner, low did bend 
Over the memory of my dead friend. 
Yet there is somewhat in the tear 

Of deep affliction's willing sadness 
To the lone heart more kind and dear 

Than the strong smile of health and gladness ; 
And it is better, for our love's sake, they 
We love the best should soonest go away. 

I thought of him, as though he were by, 
With his dark bright hair, and his darker eye, 
And his face alive with chivalry, 
Of his broad white brow with a slender vein, 
And his words like drops of summer rain, 
Soft as the voice of a timid maiden, 
Ever with his own brave language laden. 
I have hung on his words, so sweet and rare, 

Like a knight in his lady's bower, 



TIII: MOURNER'S DREAM. 73 

With his voice in my ears, like a haunting air, 

For many a dreaming hour. 
The eloquent smile that ever hung 

O'er his mouth, like a sunny wreath, 
Grew lovelier on his lips, and clung 

Ten times more glorious after death. 
There is a spell on his silent tongue, 

As when a poet dies 
And the spirits bind his lyre unstrung 

To the bier whereon he lies. 
I saw thy beautiful limbs all bare, 

And thy new-made grave looked cold, 

And I grudged it sadly to the mould 
To lie so long on thy glossy hair ! 
Minstrel ! thy spirit was set on fire 

At the fount of ancient days, 
And therefore wert thou lifted higher, 

To where that fountain plays. 
Sacred and pure, the awful flame 

About thy youth and health did roll, 
Till thy fair Vest of earth became 

A sacrifice unto thy soul. 
Like an eagle, up in the heavens 'bare, 
Wild with the draughts of his mountain air, 
The heights of lone thought beheld thee die 
In the fire of thine own free poetry ! 

2. 
THE VOYAGE. 

I waited then by that fair sea 
Tiir~the power of evening came on me. 
I saw the sunset colors fall 



74 TIIK .Mnri;M-:u's DKI:\M. 



Puler and fainter on the wall, 
And watched the broken shadows grow 
Dark and long on the sand -below ; 
And the sea was gone far down the shore 
With the same soft sounds for evermore. 
Still on the quivering level lay 
The last dull crimson lights of day, 
When to my feet a bright green boat 
Softly and gaily seemed to float, 
With neither helm, nor sail, nor oar, 
Over the shallows on the shore. 
Green it was as the living tide 
Whereon its little prow should ride, 
And lighter than the foam- wreaths frail 
That o'er the windy ocean sail. 
Within, a silver Anchor stood, 
And a Crucifix of scented wood 

Upon the seat was laid ; 
And round it some large foreign flowers 
With fresh leaves from the ivy bowers 

Into a crown were made, 
Swifter and swifter did I float 
Eastward in the bright green boat ; 
And, as the coast grew dim and white, 

I sank in awe upon my knee, 
And trusted myself for the dark night 

To the holy Cross and to the sea. 
No breath upon the deep did move. 
The moon was not in her place above. 
With steadiest motion all along 

The boat on her path did steal, 
Without a sound, but the murmuring song 

Of the water round the keel : 



THE MOURNER'S DREAM. 75 

And through the gloom, without a bound, 
The purple ocean lay around. 
The snowy sea-birds as they flew 

Across the deep midnight, 
From off their lustrous plumage threw 

Flashes of sudden light. 
Yet did I not feel lonely there, 
For ever a scent, like incense rare, 
Stole from the Cross on the warm night air ; 
And the dew that clung upon the flowers 
Sweet memories of earth's pale bowers 

Back to my heart did bring : 
Like the cold and sunny winds that yield 
The fragrance out of the meadow field 

In the first fresh days of spring. 
And thus was that little boat to me 
A quiet Church on the holy sea ! 


But seven bright planets, one by one, 
Rose from the waves as the boat drove on ; 
They rose in a crescent above the sea, 
At first unclear, and falteringly, 
But up in the sky the starry bow 
Pierced with its rays the billows below, 
And the tall thin shafts of the palest gold 
Wavered and bent as the waters rolled, 
Bent, but they broke not; and the light 
Was fairer far than a summer night, 
When the moon, unthrifty of her brightness, 
Paves the sea with a trembling whiteness. 
Onward still did the shallop sail, 
Till the sea was green and the stars grew pale ; 
And the sun as from the waves he went 



76 THE MOURNER'S DREAM. 

Unlocked the pearly orient. 
But eastward yet the bark did steal, 
So swift the waves scarce wet the keel ; 
While in the dawn the cold fresh sea 
Shone bright and murmured merrily. 

Our life lies eastward : every day 
Some little of that mystic way 

By trembling feet is trod : 
In thoughtful fast and quiet feast 
Our thoughts go travelling to the East, 

To our Incarnate God. 
Fresh from the Font our childhood's prime 
Is life's most oriental time. 
Its joyous sights and mighty fears, 
And feelings deep that work by tears, 
Its dreams and smiles age cannot share, 
Are borrowed from that region fair. 
The beamy land, where morning lives 
And Eden still is blooming, gives 
Strange rays for childish hearts to hoard, 
Bright flashes from the seraph-sword 

That waves in Eden's light : 
And still, when childhood's race is run 
And God from Egypt calls His son 
Through worldliest haze and rudest gleams, 
The East comes back to us in dreams, 
In holy dreams by night. 
'Tis then o'er marvellous maps we pore, 
Bare outlines of the Eastern shore, 
And idly strive to fix the spot 
Where Eden lies, with cave and grot, 
And lawn, and river-sounds, away 



THE MOURNER'S DREAM. 77 

In the heart of central Asia. 

'Tis then love singles out the trees 

With foreign-looking leaves, 
And oft in summer's languid breeze 

Poor fancy sits and weaves 
Of each exotic shrub and flower 
A shadow of an Eden bower, 
When childhood's painted flag is furled, 
And long chill shadows from the world 

Are o'er our pathway thrown, 
Still, while its early dreams escape, 
The longing spirit fain would shape 

An orient of its own. 
Still doth it Eastward turn in prayer, 
And rear its saving Altar there, 
Still doth it Eastward turn in Creed, 
While faith in awe each gracious deed 
Of her dear Saviour's love doth plead, 
Still doth it turn at every line 
To the far East in sweet mute sign 
That through our weary strife and pain 
We crave our Eden back again. 

We came unto a river's mouth, 

Which hath its secret fountains 
Away in the unpeopled south, 

Among unpeopled mountains. 
A sultry haze upon the sea, 
And long low shore, lay heavily. 
A bar of rocks stretched east and west 

The frothy shallows under, 
On which the chafing billows pressed 

And broke in muffled thunder ; 



78 THE MOURNER'S DREAM. 

And further up the misty land 

The waves foamed idly on the sand ; 

And on the sandbanks in the bay 

Sea-dogs and seals together lay ; 

As though the hot mist of noon were sweet 

After the deep's cold gloom, 
They slept like the dogs at the marble feet 

Of a Templar on his tomb, 
All was still as a place of the dead, 
Not a mountain lifted his far-off head, 

Not an outline blue was seen. 
Grass was not there, nor shady trees, 

Not a branch or blade of green, 
But a row of seaside villages 

With low sand-hills between. 
The bar is bare where the white waves sound, 
And tide and stream are quivering round, 
But the bark hath crossed, for the river bound. 
It lay on the mane of a long green billow, 
As a gull might rest on her ocean pillow, 
It flew, like foam, o'er the ragged bar, 

And shook where the waters quiver, 
But steady and strong the keel stood far 

Up the Asiatic river. 

3. 
THE WORLD'S EDGE. 

MANY an afternoon hath come 
Since then to my monastic home, 
When mem'ry hath brought back to me 

In lifelike form and order 
The mighty things which I did see 



THE MOURNER'S DREAM. 79 

On that wild river border : 
Days when the autumn garden grieves 
Amid the gentle Wreck of leaves, 
Strewn -by the summer's parting spirit 
For winter's stern winds to inherit ; 
When silvery sun and fleecy sky 
Once more bring feeble summer nigh, 
As though she came to some sweet nook 

'Mid faded lawns and bowers, 
Awhile to take a farewell look 

At rash November flowers : 
And in this Christian city living 

Mj heart hath flown away, 
While mem'ry's deepest wells kept giving 
Visions of Asia. 

We left behind the sea's dull roar, 

We left the sand-hills on the shore : 

We passed through plains wherein the stream 

Ran broad by many a barrow, 
Through forest proof 'gainst bright sunbeam, 

Where the bed was deep and narrow : 
Where winds the mighty trees had rocked 

For many a hundred year ; 
And troops of gentle creatures flocked 

To gaze on me with fear, 
As though their faces bright and round 
Had seen and heard of sight and sound 

Nought but the forest motion, 
Save when a sea-bird rude had come 
And scared the quiet of their home, 

As it wandered from the ocean. 
The twisting branches framed above 



80 THE MOURNER'S DREAM. 

Cloisters of gloomy green, 
And the bare boughs of yew-trees wove 

On either side a screen ; 
But here and there the eye might follow 
The view through many a woodland hollow, 
To where some fountain glittered far 

With red leaves all around, 
When a stray sunbeam, like a star 

Its way through thick shades found ; 
And it bred fear in me to see 
At times a dry leaf from a tree, 
Loosened by some soft hand unseen 
From its brother-crowd of healthy greeft, 
Awhile upon the light air quiver, 
And faintly fall upon the river. 

The wood was past : and then again 
Came grassy slope and open plain ; 
And to a lake the river spread, 
With groves and green rocks islanded. 
When evening shed her mantle there, 
Slow-dropping through the twilight air, 
Upon the river-bank there stood 

Temple, and tower, and streets decayed, 
Shrine, palace, arch, and colonnade, 
A vast and kingly solitude. 
Dark creepers like a woven vest 
Were round each standing pillar pressed ; 
Between the broken columns sprung 
Horse-tail and rankest adder's tongue. 
No voice of man or beast was heard, 
No vesper-song of plaining bird, 
No insect hum, no breath did seem 



THE MOURNER'S DREAM. 81 

To rise from those that sleep and dream 

Among yon cypress rows that stand 

For half a league or more inland. 

The city lay in mute distress 

On the edge of a stretching wilderness. 

Where have ye gone, ye townsmen great ! 

That have left your homes so desolate? 

Where have ye vanished, king and peer ! 

And left what ye lived for lying here ? 

Sin can follow where gold may not, 

Pictures and books the damps may rot, 

And creepers may hang frail lines of flowers 

Down the crevices of ancient towers, 

But what hath passed from the soul of mortal, 

Be it word or thought of pride, 
Hath gone with him through the dim low portal 

And waiteth by his side. 

Between the desert and the town, 
Upon a grassy treeless down, 
High hanging o'er the rapid flood 
A house of Christian monks there stood. 
One soft low bell kept ever ringing 
While they within were calmly singing 
Of her whose garments drop alway 
Myrrh, aloes, and sweet cassia. 
The chapel-lights with full rich gleam 
Threw lines of radiance o'er the stream ; 
And tear-drops came, and o'er my mind 
Dim thoughts and sadnesses did wind, 
And with strong spells my spirit bind. 
It was no grave. or holy feeling 
That with the Christian psalm came stealing, 

6 



82 THE MOURNER'S DREAM. 

Which sounded all ray being so, 

And stirred the tears, and bade them flow. 

No, it was earth with her fair things, 

All her green trees and mountain springs, 

Earth fading from me, which did pass 

Upon my spirit through the glass 

Of those church-windows, to the river 

Whereon the lamplights rest and quiver. 

It brought back hours when I did stand 

A guest in our first father-land, 

Where summer midnights sweetest shine 

With moonbeams cradled on the Rhine, 

Or drawn in tremulous webs of gold, 

Where the stream through long boat-bridges rolled. 

And earth and all earth was to me 

In those short hours of boyish glee 

Came like a cloud of troubled fears, 

And the cloud broke and fell in tears. 

Yet it was well those monks should be 
By the ruin hoar and the pasture lea ; 
And never was spot more sadly meet 
For lonely prayer and hermit feet. 
And fitly, methinks, their chantry stands, 
Where the grass encroaches on the sands, 
At the limits of life's two marvellous lands, 
The land of shadows, forms, and faces, 
And the land of spirits' resting-places. 
For the psalm they sing is earth's last sound, 
Circling and sinking faintly round, 
And whispering o'er the desert's bound. 
The bodies that lie where the turf springs highest, 

And little white flowers are growing, 



THE MOURNER'S DREAM. 83 

Of all the dead are the very nighest 

To the place where they are going, 
For over the sand in the stilly morn, 

When the winds awhile cease blowing, 
If you lean and listen a sound is borne, 
Like the last far fall of a hunting-horn, 
From the Eden streams, that in channels worn 

By two and two are flowing. 
Yes it was well these monks should tread 
Between the living and the dead 
On the line by which they are severed, 
That they in their fasts and festal mirth 

A blessing and grace should merit 
For the far-off races of the earth 

From the close-lying world of spirit. 
Yes it was well that they should be 
Types of the meek and passion-free, 
The humble of earth) that in cloistered room 
Fight the world's battles in secret gloom ; 
And lands are saved and conquests won, 
And the race of high and hard truths ru^ 
And chains snapped off and sins undone : 
And all by meek, dejected men, 
Earth finds not, learns not, how or when. 
For they are too divinely great 
For fame to sully them with state 

And pageant little worth : 
From out the unpolluted dead 
Their names may not be gathered ; 
They dwell too deep for man to find 

Them out in their calm mirth, 
Too high to leave a name behind, 

To be played with on the earth. 



84 THE MOURNER'S DREAM. 

No idle straying sage may learn 

How that ruined city fell ; 
All travellers unknowing turn 

From the spot where those monks dwell. 
Out in the earth fair babes at play 
By unseen hands are led away. 
' Here and there in different climes 
Some have been missed at distant times ; 
In sport by day they have been taken, 

No mortal creature knowing, 
In sleep by night, and did not waken 

Their mothers at their going. 
Whene'er the monks of that house die, 
These lost of earth their room supply, 
By angel-leadings ever drawn 
From their first homes in childhood's dawn ; 
And strangely many times must earth 
Work in their heart with her old mirth. 

On the edge of the world to them it is given 
To HI within sight and hearing of heaven, 
To see the wild clouds, like castles or ships, 
Kissed with the evening's rosy lips, 
Sway in the wind on the hills that spread, 
Treeless and turfless a barrier dread, 
Round the garden our father forfeited, 
They dwell alone, those monkish few, 
By the down's slant side and the river blue. 
No bird o'er the narrow down may fly, 
No eagle abroad in yon desert cry, 
No beast may come as near as they 
To the sealed centre of Asia. 
There is a spot I know not why 



THE MOURNER'S DREAM. 85 

A spot I often loiter by, 
Which ever brings that ruined town, 
The monkish house and strip of down, 
Back to my fancy, faintly clear, 

Until the whole doth strangely seem 

A suddenly recovered dream, 
Which I had somewhile dreamed of here. 
It is the least of English brooks 

Through a midland county winding, 
In willow flats and meadow nooks 

Fresh sorts of wild-flowers finding: 
The very least of brooks with bays. 

Of standing water furnished, 
Where yellow irises upraise 

Their phalanx smoothly burnished ; 
The least of brooks, that nightly show 

The white stars' moving faces 
Mid dark and brittle plants that grow 

In its wet and shady places. 
Much hooded willow-herb is there, 
The nun of water-sides, whose care 
Doth for herself green convents rear 
Of stalk and leaf and glossy spear, 
And when I wander there alone, 

My spirit doth un-ravel 
The lines of thought she made her own 

In her visionary travel. 

But up the stream with steady will 

My boat went undelaying, 
While earth stirred calmly in me still, 

And set my fancy straying. 
And now around is a sandy scene 



86 TIII: MOURNER'S DREAM. 

Without one square or isle of green, 
A region, where with no sweet shrouds 

The sun, as he doth pass, 
Unclothes the white sky of its clouds, 

And the green earth, of her grass. 
But the moon is floating soft above, 

And the sands below are glistening ; 
There might be sounds in the lights that move 
O'er the earth, like the wings of a weary dove, 

If there were time for listening. 
But the winds from their hid coverts press, 

And lift their waving voices high 

O'er the broad waste, to magnify 
The Master of the wilderness. 
So wild was the gleam the moon was lending, 
So broken it looked in its descending, 

The desert's self seemed heaving ; 
One might think that mighty winds caine out 
To scatter molten moonlight about, 
To mar the plain words and meaning things 
That, for man, aloft on her glitterings 

The quiet orb was weaving. 

Then came a royal wood of palms 
With strange and oriental charms. 
The forest stood down to the river, 
Yet seemed to stretch away forever. 
League upon league like pillars tall 
With one rich shapely capital 
In aisles they stood, and like each other, 
One palm might be its neighbor's brother 
And all were fair and fresh of hue, 
As though in some good plain they grew. 



TIFK MOURNER'S DREAM. 87 

And not in sand-drifts light. 
The moisture drunk by thirsty noon 
Cool darkness'doth replenish soon 

With dewdrops sparkling bright, 
Dews fed from mists that bear the moon 

Sweet company all night. 
And down the rings of each smooth bole, 

Like sunbeams under the sea, 
Quiverings of emerald moonlight stole, 

Swathing the golden tree. 
Turn where one might a roaming eye 

On, on, for ever on, 
The multitudinous palm-trees lie, 
Countless as stars that stud the sky, 

When the rival moon has gone. 

Hast tliou ever felt in thy lonely room, 
Some vigil night, when the hush and gloom, 
And the nearness of churches round the place, 
Bring joy in the soul and smiles on the face 
When the walls of the world seem about to melt, 

And to lay the weird realms of spirit 'bare, 
Hast thou ever at such high seasons felt 

What seemed like the waving of wings in air, 

While an angel meek hath descended there, 
And is kneeling where thou hast lately knelt? 

Has thou known how his presence keeps thee still, 
And winds through thy thoughts like a freshening rill, 
How visions and musings of lightness or pride 

Fall off from thy heart as withered leaves, 
And fancy dares not with him at her side 

Think well of the silky webs she weaves ? 
So was it with me in that little boat 



88 THE MOURNER'S DREAM. 

That stiller and swifter seemed to float. 

The flowers and ivy-stalks drooping low 

Sweeter and fresher appeared to grow. 

A faint scarce visible glory stood 

O'er the Crucifix of scented wood ; 

And though the seat at the helm looked bare, 

I knew that a spirit was sitting there. 

The bark had now begun to quiver 
Upon the fast, unsteady river, 

And foam-bells wavered by ; 
And with the lisping palm-tops blending 
A stunning water-fall's descending 

Grew distinct and nigh. 
There was a pause a brief, dread pause 
In a narrow valley's rocky jaws. 
A huge, high cliff did steeply bound 
A sunless pool with white mists round. 
Then came a quiet, whirling motion, 

And my boat was lifted slow ; 
Like the strong twistings of the ocean, 

Where a ship hath gone below. 
Oh ! gently are the currents flowing 

Above that giant-fall, 
And gentle sounds, like breezes blowing, 

From off the mountains' call, 
The herbless mountains nigh at hand 
That darkly fence man's earliest land, 

Still wept with burning brow, 
Which every bright or gloomy faith 
Hath faintly looked for after death, 

Or made an idol now. 
We came unto the river fountains, 



THE MOURNER'S DREAM. 89 

Where three of those huge-rooted mountains 

Jutted beyond the range, 
And clasped within their stony round 
A basin and a ring of ground 

Of beauty soft and strange. 
There in that most lonely dwelling , 
The rivers of the south are welling 

From a silent-rising spring : 
And to the surface from below 
The silver, salient waters flow 

With scarce a murmuring. 
Below the sterile cliffs a rim 
Of yellow moorland turf the brim 

Of that calm basin closes ; 
And right among the tarnished sedge 
There hangs and floats a flowering hedge 

Of whitest gleaming roses. 
No greenly -gadding rose-branch- dips 
Into the pool its fragrant lips. 
But drooping ever motionless 
In one white coronal they press 

The velvet margin shading ; 
Like some pale lustrous wreath adorning 
A bride upon her marriage morning, 

Eternal and unfading ; 
Breathing faint richness on the lake, 
Whose gleamy face winds never shake, 
Nor ripples crest, nor rain-drops break : 
Where rose with rose in webs is threading, 
Thick spells of luscious strength outshedding, 
That make the mountain hollow seem 
One noonday cup of odorous steam. 
Wondrous it is to see on high 



90 THE MOURNER'S DREAM. 

The barren mountains to the sky 

Their splintered sceptres holding; 
While Heaven's ethereal blue between 
The outlines rough doth intervene, 
And spends all hours, that fearful scene 

To shapes of softness moulding : 
Just as the monthly moon's full orb 
In her own fairness doth absorb 

The boughs of leafy dells, 
And purple midnight by sweet laws 
Upward and inward ever draws 

Church-spires and pinnacles. 
Strange is it to the eye that rests 
On the long line of mountain crests, 
Whose slow descending gaze but falls 
On craggy steeps and dark bare walls, 
S( range is it when the earth discloses 
That little hollow cup of roses. 

Across the pool my boat did steal 

In swift and silent order, 
And not a ripple from the keel 

Ruffled the flowery border. 
Above the place where I was left 
There was a deep, clear mountain cleft, 
As though some keen seraphic sword, 
Some angel of the mighty Lord, 

Had carved that portal fair. 
To skies beyond of stainless blue 
White waving clouds went sailing through, 

As if to harbor there. 
But poor and little was my hope 
To climb that cliff and broken slope, 



THE MOURNER'S DREAM. 91 

Till I beheld a straggling line 
Of low white roses dimly shine, 

As if put there in play, 
Or some angelic hand in air 
Had scattered rose-wreaths kindly there, 

To trace and mark the way. 
Where each frail flowret had been thrown, 
There was a little step of stone, 

Whereto a man might cling, 
Or, if they failed, be lifted on 

By angel hand or wing : 
And with such faith myself would dare 
Upon that long and perilous stair. 

How may I tell ye, friends on earth ! 
With what a mystery of mirth 
I stood within that mountain cleft, 
With two worlds, on the right and left ? 
Boundless, boundless, all unending, 
Shadows, souls, and spirits blending 
Midnight and sunrise, noon and even, 
Earth, ocean, vivid-glowing Heaven 
All were at once : all bathed and blent 
In a new white-seeming element, 

Wherein they did abide : 
Most like unto a hoary sea, 
Where through all ages by decree 
Time might have no more ebbs, but be 

For ever at high-tide. 
t travelled on in mighty rings, 

And with a clamorous motion ; 
[jike a sea-bird sleeping on her wings 

And sinking: to the ocean. 



92 THE MOURNER'S DREAM. 

I stood within the mountain-cleft 
With two worlds, on the right and left 
The land of shadows, forms, and faces, 
And the land of spirits' resting-places. 
Apart, and separate they were, 
With other sky and sea and air : 
And yet they seemed but one to me 
Each in the other comprehended, 
In lovely separation blended, 
Like two sides of a mystery. 

Oft have I seen in out-door dreams 

Lovely and dreadful things 
Brought close upon my soul by gleams, 

Majestic glimmerings, 
But, when I deemed the vision bright 
Unfolding from the soul of night 

Unto my touch would press, 
The troublous pleasure that did creep 
Through every vein, broke up my sleep, 
And the appearance swiftly drew 
Back into midnight's caverned blue 

And starry silentness ; 
As rainbows to my childish eye 
Withdrew into the cloudy sky, 
When gazed at over-earnestly. 
Thus hath this dream been broken up, 
And gentle sleep's well-mingled cup 

Been spilt upon the earth ; 
But dreams that promise fairest blessing, 
Yet cease to be in the possessing 
Why blame them more than other things, 
Since Heaven in love so checks the springs 

Of every mortal mirth ? 



THE DREAM OF KING CRCESUS. 93 



V. 
THE DKEAM OF KING CKCESUS. 

KING Croesus dreamed a dream : the live-long day 

His heart was swollen with'imperial pride 

And his eye surfeited with blaze of gems 

And gleamy metals, and his weak ear soothed 

By fair-tongued Lydians : but in the still night 

King Croesus dreamed a dream : 'twas Nemesis 

That out of the mute darkness wove that dream. 

He slept, and in his sleep he saw his son, 

Atys, the beautiful, the chosen Atys, 

The youthful warrior, him he saw in dark 

Confused embrace with hazy struggling forms, 

Masses, which peopled all the blank of night, 

Like bruised embossing on a lance-worn shield. 

He could not extricate from thence, nor clear 

One object which man's eye should recognize ; 

Only he saw Atys Atys he saw, 

His son, undoubted, manifest ; ah woe ! 

Only he saw Atys, torn with the point 

Of some invisible implement; he saw 

The point, and Atys, and his own child's blood. 

Such was the dream King Croesus dreamed that night. 

There is a sound as of a nuptial feast 
Throughout the low-roofed Sardis : tabor, lute 
And Phrygian pipe in sweet accord are there, 
Making such music as the easterns love, 
Alonotonous and wailing : there are lights 



04 THE DREAM OF KING CRCESUS. 

And cries and banquet sounds, and all the throng 

Of nuptial celebration. Dark and dim 

From Mother Diudyrnene's sacred hill 

Ilermus flows down into the noisy plain, 

Where night is turned to day, and hurries on 

His waters troubled with the unwonted glare 

Into the quiet, misty distance. Oh 

Strange apparition is a flowing stream 

By a gay city in the obscure night ! 

It is the nuptial feast of Atys. Ay, 

And will King Croesus baifle destiny, 

And ilaunt the venerable Nemesis 

With nuptial feasts and women's chambers . No 

For though the warrior's arms be laid aside, 

And though the boar-spear for the hunt be thrown 

In some neglected corner, though the walls 

That rang with armor wave with tapestry, 

Yet sooner shall the soil instead of fruit 

Bring forth sharp-pointed things, and mortals reap 

Lance-heads for harvests, than the holy path 

Of orderly and reverend fate be turned 

This way or that. Mute matter and the beasts 

Achieve Heaven's wrath or love upon the earth. 

What ails the King? Why seeks he never now 
The vaulted treasure-house, the metals, gems, 
And costly inwrought works ? His restless eye 
Is palled with brightness, and his regal pride 
That hath gone down, ay, sunk, for ever sunk 
In the deep ocean of paternal love. 
Yet wherefore looketh he with curious search 
Through all the palace and among his guards 
And on state days and in the public place, 
i keen weapon or some pointed thing 



THE DKEAM OF KING CECESUS. 95 

Should come nigh Atys ? He would charm the life 
Of the brave, princely boy ; he would rob fate 
(And cannot kings do all things ?) of the prize. 
It is the Dream : that Dream is in his heart, 
Stirring, like spring within the unconscious earth 
Setting the unborn summer in array. 

The power that wove the Dream doth also work 
Out in the world. The toils of Nemesis 
Are closing round thee, Croesus ! oh how near ! 

There came a stranger to the Lydian court, 
A man of unclean hands, a fratricide, 
And yet withal a gentle being, one 
Whose noble blood of Phrygia's royal line 
Was least of his endowments ; one of those 
Whose fortune is a mystery on the earth, 
A painful problem, gendering thought and tears 
Even in the sage, and in the unrestrained 
A refuge oft for easy misbelief 
As though by some dread fate perversely throAvn 
Upon the very opposite of all 
Their passions and propensions, not allowed 
To hit the scope at which their nature aims. 
Men are they, by compulsion of the world 
And the disturbing force of circumstance 
Led forth, like victims, out of their own sphere 
To act some other spirit's destiny : 
Who pass away, still having in themselves 
A better destiny all unfulfilled, 
A holier, milder being unevolved. 

Such was Adrastus, with a gentle tinge 
Of softness and a partial hallowing 
Of deep romance, an almost wayward love 
Of .sadness, and a clinging to the woe 



96 THE DREAM OF KING CRCESUS. 

Which had exhausted and absorbed the hope 

Of his whole being. He had shed the blood 

Of his own brother most unwittingly, 

And came to Crossus that from him he might 

Receive the expiation of the times, 

A cleansing power, most rightly gathered up 

Into the state and person of the prince, 

A portion of divinity enthroned, 

Like a peculiar instinct, in a king, 

Who, by his unity no less than by 

His height, doth adumbrate the One Supreme. 

With running water and the kingly word 

Adrastus was made clean, and dwelt, a guest 

Of Croesus, I might almost say, a son. 

When by the hearth the stranger's shadow fell 

King Crossus knew not that it was the cloud 

Of Nemesis upon his royal house: 

So little venerable in our sight 

Is present Providence when past, how great ! 

All things concur with Nemesis : she sent 
A fugitive from Phrygia thus to be 
Her shadow and her symbol in the house 
Of the great king whom she had singled out 
To teach men, by his eminence and griefs, 
The righteousness of Heaven. In other lands 
She makes fresh preparation, and the ring 
Of destiny is slowly narrowing in ; 
The victim cannot stir, he cannot do 
A transitory act, but he therein 
Is riveting the future on himself. 
( Y.i'sus ! awake! Thy Dream is on thee, rise! 

Whence are these foreign husbandmen, who throng 
The audience-hall at Sardis, suppliants rude? 



THE DREAM OF KING CRCESUS. 97 

They are from pastoral Mysia, come to tell 
How a huge boar from rough Olympus robs 
The sheep-folds, thins the lowing kine, and treads 
Tiie vineyards and the flax and silky maize 
Beneath his feet. " Will Croasus deign to send 
His princely son and famous Lydian dogs 
And hunters of renown, to free the land, 
And leave his name all o'er the Mysian fields 
Fragrant as incense to the pastoral tribes? " 
To whom the King made answer : " Speak no more 
Of Atys ; he must tarry with his bride, 
Whom it were graceless at this hour to leave. 
The hounds and hunters ye are free to take, 
And rid fair Mysia of the uncouth beast." 

It grieved the heart of Atys ; he was grieved 
That he should be shut out from manly toils, 
From winning love, and walking in men's eyes 
A prince by deeds as well as royal birth. 
He came unto his father and knelt down, 
Knelt down before his fatheV and his King, 
And sued with piteous words : " O royal Sire ! 
With our progenitors it was esteemed 
That battlefield and hunting-ground should be 
The theatres of princes : Hath the law 
Been changed in Lydia that thou shuttest me 
From such employ ? Father ! what cowardice, 
Or what faint spirit hast thou marked in me ? 
How shall I come and go within the streets 
Of this great Sardis, how endure the eyes 
That speak worse words than those men would address 
Unto me if I were not prince? Dear Sire ! 
My very bride will point me with her finger, 
And call me ' Woman/ wishing that she had 
7 



98 THE DREAM OF KING CROESUS. 

A man to be the father of her sons ! 
I pray thee let me go unto this hunt, 
Or reason with me why I should not go." 
Croesus was mindful of his bygone youth, 
Which was an echo to the young man's words. 
A teardrop stood within the proud King's eye , 
He was a father, and he wept and smiled. 
" O Atys, my son Atys, I have not, 
The gods forfend it ! aught in thee observed 
Unprincely, or beneath the graciousness 
Born to the sons of kings. I had a dream," 
(And here a trembling passed upon the King) 
"A dream one night, when I had spent the day 
Amid my treasures : I would not disturb 
The quiet happiness of thy young life 
By speaking of the vision, but I kept 
The burden at my heart, and there it lay 
The secret cause of my unwonted mien 
And gesture ; nay, in many little ways 
It hath unhinged me. Aty*s ! it declared 
Thy span of life to be but brief: it spoke 
Of death by weapon-point. Therefore it was 
I hastened on thy nuptials, if so be 
I might for my life-time enjoy thy life, 
A theft, a stolen joy, the spoil of fate. 
Thou art my chosen son, nay art thou not 
Mine only one, thy brother being deaf, 
To whom the outer world is but a show 
Like wind-tossed trees upon the mountain top, 
Or Hermus lapsing mutely through the town, 
Too gentle, as the stricken always are, 
Not one whom men could bow to as a king? " 
Young Atys listened, not without some awe, 



THE DKEAM OF KING CRCESUS. 99 

For he had piety towards the gods, 

And dreams and portents were unto his soul 

Its faith and fear, not wholly without love. 

O the sweet science of our youth, to find 
A way wherein our wills may go, a cause 
For action in the very reasonings 
Whereby men prove to us we should not act ! 
Thus Atys spoke, the princely casuist, 
Pouring his honey in a father's ear : 
" O father ! blessM art thou for the love 
Wherewith thou hast thus loved me ! yet indeed 
Its very fervor leadeth thee astray 
From the true purport of the dream. 'Tis thus : 
I am to die by point of iron spear. 
Father, dear father ! are the tusks of boars 
In that green Mysia made of iron points ? 
Elsewhere they are of bone ! Now art thou not, 
Dear father ! art thou not a timoro.us king 
And an unwise ? Why truly I shall think 
It is my mother governs Lydia now, 
So good, so kind, and yet so timorous, 
So very full of sweet maternal wiles." 
He shook his flaxen hair from off his brow, 
And looked and laughed into the old King's face : 
And the King laughed again at his rude boy, 
Atys, the beautiful, the flaxen-haired. 
Croesus ! beware, the Dream is on thee now ! 
But the Dream wrought ; he let young Atys go : 
Fathers are evil pleaders with their sons. 

King Crcesus sat within his audience-hall, 
Fixed like a statue on his marble throne, 
Silent and troubled, like a man who feels 
He hath done that which he shall one day rue. 



100 THE DREAM OF KING CRCESUS. 

How cold, how weak the words of Atys seemed 
Now that the youth was gone ; yea, he was gone, 
Atys, the beautiful, the flaxen-haired, 
Whose eloquence was his young face and not 
His reasonings, his light laugh and not his speech. 
For a sweet look and for a pretty gibe 
Atys, the flaxen-haired, was sold to fate. 
A daily bargain is it on the earth ; 
Forsooth to-day a hundred sons have been 
To bondage sold in foolishness of love 
Which is not love, through weakness falling short. 
O father Croesus yet it was the Dream. 
The Dream hath reached King Croesus. And behold ! 
Where'er he turns dread Nemesis is there. 
Things turn to Nemesis beneath his touch. 
His servants are the slaves of fate : his guest 
Fate's shadow, and the sunbeam in the eye 
Of Atys is the light of fate ; the shake 
Of his long flaxen hair belonged to fate. 
The royal house is compassed by a Power 
Which hath absorbed all wills into its own. 
Sorrow and mirth, the hour of kingly pride 
Within the treasure-house, the nuptial feast, 
The blood in Phrygia spilled, the mountain boar, 
The husbandmen, the fame of Lydian dogs, 
The kneeling boy, the gibe, the flaxen hair, 
All grow into one shadow, and advance 
Upon King Crcesus, like an angry god. 
King Croesus saw it not ; he did not know 
He was become the centre of his Dream. 
Alas ! King Croesus, we are all like thee, 
Fate teaching us the worship of free-will. 
King Croesus sat within the audience-hall, 



Till: DREAM OF KING CRCESUS. 101 

Silent and troubled ; Atys hath gone forth 

To make his preparations for the hunt. 

The monarch bade them call the Phrygian prince ; 

Adrastus stood before him. " Noble guest ! " 

King Croesus spake, " amid the royal state 

Wherewith thou seest me compassed, at my heart 

A hot uneasy secret hath lain hid, 

Which threatens now to bring forth bitter fruit 

Of dire affliction. I have cleansed thy hands, 

And given thee kingly greeting, and a home, 

And appanage, and all things meet for thee, 

As though thou hadst been Atys, 'my true son. 

Nay, stranger, I recount not these small things 

As debts for which thou art to pay me back 

Measure for measure ; nor upbraidingly 

As though the kindness lay too light on thee. 

I seek return most different in kind, 

I would thou shouldst go forth unto this hunt. 

Thou art a gentle, princely man ; I trow 

Atys would be as safe beneath thy charge 

As though King Croesus went with him. The land 

Is wild, and there are perils of the way ; 

Haply a father magnifies them, yet 

I would that Atys went with thee, my guest ! 

And thou too hast great sires, unto whose deeds 

'Twere well to link thine own ; thy stalwart prime 

Without achievements should not thus elapse : 

Adrastus ! thou art born a Phrygian prince, 

The column of an old and generous name ! " 

" Monarch and father ! " thus Adrastus said, 

" I should not otherwise have sought this hunt. 

A sorrow^stricken man should not essay 

To join himself unto his peers : the gods 



102 THE DREAM OF KING CROESUS. 

Have taken him apart unto themselves, 
Clouding his days ; nor have I now a soul 
For martial enterprise, or glorious deeds 
Of princely prowess, isolated thus 
From my long line of royal ancestors, 
Thro' exile, ay, thro' worse than exile dead. 
Yet for thy sake I go, content to have 
The joy for my reward in that sweet hour 
When I shall give back Atys to thine arms." 

King Croesus left the audience-hall assured. 
Ah ! he hath drawn the Dream unto himself, 
And of his own free will embraced his fate. 
There is not now a fibre in his heart 
At which that Vision pulls not every hour. 

Methinks I see the glittering plain outspread 
At sunny dawn, and Hermus flowing by, 
And the blue mountains, north and south and east, 
With Sypylus, which half fills up the west, 
Catching the sunrise, in whose rifted crags 
The thunder tolls all summer, day and night, 
And the white walls of Sardis, and the King 
Waving his last farewell from near the gate. 
And o'er the Acropolis I see the snow 
( >n Tmolus, where the long-lived shepherds dwell, 
Tending their sable goats upon the downs 
With purple saffron streaked, while breezy morn 
Wafts o'er the plain from out the shrubby glens 
That aromatic breath so dear to Pan. 
And old Pactolus guides his lucid stream 
Between two lips of ruddy sand, which glow 
Like webs of golden tissue in the sun. 
Far off the tomb of Alyattes gleams 
Through the low mist, whose sluggish climbing folds 



THE DREAM OF KIXG CRCESUS. 103 

Its lofty cone o'ertops, and shoots on high, 

Clearing its way into the radiant air. 

And in the wind the lake of Gyges seems 

Of silver shot with black, whose bright expanse 

Regions of plumy marsh-plants intersect, 

From out whose nodding coverts at that hour 

The countless swans rise up to greet the morn 

With tuneless pipings, which, with resonance 

Conjoined of insect-swarms, that from the lake 

Keep off the restless thirsty herds, are now 

The only sounds that desolately thrill . 

That solitary shore of Lydian tombs. 

Then the brave band of men and dogs went on 

O'er hill and dale, and, when the sunbeams glanced 

Upon the spear-points of the horsemen there, 

It was the brightness of the Dream that moved 

With them to its fulfilment constantly. 

Atys, with beamy spear-points girdled round, 
Beguiled Adrastus somewhat of his woe, 
Recounting stories of the famous hunts, 
Which he had heard within the banquet hall 
By rhapsodists recited to the King 
From Lydian chronicles : and then he spake 
Of his young bride, or bade Adrastus note 
The plumage of the bird that darted by, 
Or the thick fleets of rapid ortolans 
Which swam along the surface of the maize, 
Or on a sudden sank and disappeared. 
He asked the name of this or that blue cone 
Which glimmered in the sun, or thoughtlessly 
He pointed to the dogs, and asked the prince 
If there were such in Phrygia, then confused 
He talked of other things scarce knowing what. 



104 THE DREAM OF KING CRCESUS. 

Then languor seized him, and the weariness 
Of the tame distance, and they had some hours 
Of silent riding ; but a bubbling brook, 
And hunter's fare and slumber in the shade 
Of single plane trees, such as here and there, 
Like tents, rise up in those umvoody parts, 
Refreshed the youth, and ever from his talk 
Adrastus gathered peace and freshness too. 
And thus they travelled to the Mysian border, 
In its green mountain-glens to meet the Dream. 

How beautiful are still and starry nights 
On the great plains of Asia ! And how clear 
The yellow moon in glossy-foliaged dells 
Where shrunken brooks are tinkling through the night ! 
Oh I shall think unto my dying day, 
When I outlive the strength of roving youth, 
How beautiful are nights on Asia's plains ! 
The dome of heaven scarce arched above the earth 
With the low hanging moon, and lustrous stars 
Orblike and swollen with unusual light, 
The night-wind, fragrant with a thousand gums, 
Moaning, as weary of its homeless life 
Over those countless leagues of inland steppe, 
The little tents, the smouldering fire of wood, 
The scattered arms, the horses on the plain, 
Dim, dusky figures, feeding or at rest : 
What Atys and Adrastus saw is still 
Seen nightly in that old unchanging land. 

Amid the green and bosky roots, from which 
Mysian Olympus rises, there doth lurk' 
A stony hollow, thickly overgrown 
With arbutus and straight lentiscus shoots 
And ragged stone-pines : there land-turtles dwell, 



THE DREAM OF KING CIUESTJS. 105 

And bright innocuous snakes, and cruel boars. 

Arid by the Mysian shepherds thither led 

After most blythe reception, Atys stood, 

And Prince Adrastus and the Lydian band ; 

And in the midst the boar at bay. The chase 

With all its wonted stirring circumstance 

Aroused the spirit of the Phrygian prince, 

And, with the power of old past times, relaxed 

Grief's pressure ; and he hurled his lance 

With fierce unsteady eagerness, nor hit 

The raging boar : but youthful Atys fell. 

The brittle shoots of the lentiscus broke 

Beneath the fall, and to the naked sky 

The closing eyes of Atys were upturned. 

And in that stony hollow, which to-day 

The aromatic summer gently fills 

As calm as though no blood had been shed there, 

Rifling the placid beauty of the place, 

Was Atys, youthful Atys in his blood, 

Atys the beautiful, the flaxen-haired. 

There lay the hope of Croesus ; thither came 

The old King's Dream for its accomplishment. 

There is a cry in Sardis ; Hermus hears : 
Tis not the clamor of the nuptial feast, 
Atys is dead, they wail for Atys. Where 
Art thou, young bride of Atys ? And the King 
Where is King Crcesus ? Who will dare to say 
Unto the King that Atys hath been slain, 
Atys, the beautiful, the flaxen-haired ? 
He who went out at dawn, Avho marked the birds, 
Whose youth ran over with him, like a well, 
And when his spirits wearied him, he slept 
Beneath the plane, because his heart was light 



106 THE DREAM OF KING CRGESUS. 

Who saw the stars at midnight in the sky, 
VVho looked into that hollow and knew not 
It was his grave he is among the dead ! 
weep for Atys, Atys 'mid the dead ! 
And Sardis wept for Atys. 

Croesus called 

For vengeance on Adrastus, called on Zeus 
The god of expiations : he assailed 
The powers of Heaven with clamorous prayers, and filled 
The streets with imprecations, such alone 
As agony could wring from out the heart 
Of a bereaved and stricken parent. " Curse, 
curse the impious stranger, god of hearths ! 
curse Adrastus, thou dread power who reign'st 
O'er mortal friendship ! curse me that dark man ! " 

Slow the procession moves along the streets 
Of twilight Sardis. See ! the white form comes 
Atys, the prince, returning to his home. 
King Croesus gazed upon the slayer there, 
An apparition, wan as the cold corpse 
Upon the swaying bier : King Croesus gazed, 
And he unprayed his curse, his passion sank, 
Sank down, and in his soul he pitied him ; 
And beautiful and touching were his Words, 
Albeit he then remembered with a pang 
How once Adrastus spake of the sweet hour 
When he should give back Atys to his arms : 
That hour had come; it had no name in words! 
" Stranger! " (for by that title he addressed 
The prince, scarce knowing whether it enhanced 
Or lessened his mishap, that it befel 
By stranger's hand) " I will not seek to add 
By word of mine to thine exceeding woe : 



THE DREAM OF KING CECESUS. 107 

Nay, rather I would bid thee take good heart, 
Although environed by calamity. 
Adrastus ! it was God who slew my son, 
The holy God who warned me by the Dream. 
Adrastus ! it was God who by thy hand 
Laid Atys low, and quelled King Croesus' pride. 
Wretched Adrastus ! be consoled for this 
It was not thou, but God yet why by thee, 
Yea, wherefore by thy hand, most rightly dear 
For thy true princely heart, and for thy griefs ? " 

Thus spoke King Croesus most benignant words : 
For his whole mind was raised and magnified, 
Made merciful and quiet as a god's, 
By the extremity of mortal woe. 
Oh what a royal heart had that old man ! 

Sardis remembered many a long, long year 
The funeral of Atys ; how the King 
Hung o'er the motionless white frame,- and wept 
And wept and spoke not, how the thrilling wail 
Of the young bride resounded on the plain 
Throughout the dim expanse, and how the prince, 
The rapt Adrastus, spoke not, did not seem 
To hear or see, but was as if he strove 
With some dull baffling mist within his soul. 
All gazed upon Adrastus ; yet no eye 
In the whole crowd of Sardians had a look 
Of rage or hatred ; for the King's great soul 
Had passed into his people. 

Midnight came : 

The glowing light of the red pile sunk down. 
Hermus, who had been troubled with the glare 
Of nuptial lamps, and with the smoke and sparks 
Of the dull wine-quenched pyre, now calmly ran 



108 THE DREAM OF KING CRCESUS. 

Past the low fresh-turfed barrow where the bones 

And ashes lay. There were no feet of men, 

No Sardian lingering from the mournful crowd, 

Around the grave ; but night, calm night was there. 

The silent darkness rested on the plain, 

By the swift rushing river undisturbed. 

Adrastus stood beside the mound in thought, 

The prince, the gentle heart, twice stained with blood. 

He knew that there was suffering on the earth ; 

But he, yea, he was singled out from men 

For awful woe, bent, laden, trampled down, 

A gazing-stock for all posterities, 

His being brought beneath some special law 

Of the invisible world, so marked and sealed 

That he should not claim kindred with his kind. 

And in the darkness of his pagan faith 

The princely-hearted victim deemed he saw 

A right, uncensured, to self-sacrifice. 

Therefore he slew himself upon the grave ; 

Not from despair, nor goaded by remorse, 

Nor to escape the dogging steps of fate ; 

But, mastered by an instinct of deep love 

For earth and for his fellows, did he sit 

In judgment on himself, and, so condemned, 

With solemn self-collection did he slay 

Himself upon the barrow newly raised, 

That he might abrogate that fearful law 

Which had hung evil round him like a cloak. 

King Croesus mourned for Atys two whole years, 
Within his latticed halls : his pride was spent ; 
And from that cloud of sorrow he emerged, 
With heart and eye chastised, a royal sage ; 
And with a melancholy gentleness 



THE SENSES. 109 

Of thought and aspiration so endowed, 
Men marvelled at the wisdom then outpoured 
From lips which learned their sole philosophy 
From suffering : such transfiguration wrought 
The love of God within the pagan's soul : 
And such the working of a heaven-sent dream 
To sanctify the ancient Lydian King. 



In early days I read this tale ; it seemed 
Most touching and most wise, and it has lived 
Within my memory : in the simple Greek 
Of the old chronicler it truly is 
A stirring tale: perhaps less touching here, 
(Though English is a plaintive tongue) yet not 
Without pathetic wisdom of its kind. 



VI. 

THE SENSES. 

RICH soil of ancient springs ! dear Earth ! 

Of whom we all are made, 
In whose green treasure-house the birth 

Thou lentest must be laid ! 
Mistress of Christian symbols, glowing 

In letters of dread meaning, 
In tides of song-like language flowing, 

Where minstrel ears are leaning, 
Where day and night 
Spell words of might 

By gloom or brightness hidden, 



110 THE SENSES. 

And summer hours 

In bells of flowers 
Sing songs, and are not chidden. 
I never called thee gloomy, never 
From out thy full, fresh-flowing river 

Have failed to draw sweet water, 
And still thine echo in me rings 
True to the faintest murmurings 

That constant stream hath brought her. 
So have I gazed on thee, as one 
Who sits from rise to set of sun 

In Troy's dim-furrowed plain, 
Scanning the letters half-effaced, 
And lines where some old Greek hath traced 

The titles of the slain. 
So strive I, as a baffled lover, 
The wondrous science to recover, 

Laid up in Eden still, 
When our wise father gave a name 
To every beast and bird that came, 

With heaven-imparted skill. 
All over doth this outer earth 

An inner earth infold, 
And sounds may reach us of its mirth 

Over its pales of gold. 
There spirits live, un wedded all 

From the shades and shapes they wore, 
Though still their printless footsteps fall 

By the hearths they loved before. 
We know them not, nor hear the sound 
They make in threading all around : 
Their office sweet and mighty prayer 
Float without echo through the air. 



THE SENSES. Ill 

Yet sometimes in unworldly places, 

Soft sorrow's twilight vales, 
We meet them with uncovered faces 

Outside their golden pales, 
Though dim, as they must ever be, 
Like ships far-off and out at sea, 

With the sun upon their sails. 

Not unobserved doth April bring, 
With rain-drops sparkling on her wing 

From many a silver shower, 
Her dewy prophecies of spring, 
Close leaf and show of blossoming, 

In every bank and bower. 
The breezes with their fertile wooing 
Earth's long-night fetters are undoing : 
And she within her priestly vest 
Takes back her soul into her breast. 
In every blossom there is fruit, 
And every flower swells at its root, 
Till stalk and lily blade are seen 
Piercing the mould with spikes of green. 
And jealous plants all sheathed and furled 
Come up with veils into the world, 
And brittle shoots, where June discloses 
Her jewelled lines of crimson roses. 
All these, ere winter's season hoary, 
Have had a blooming and a glory, 
Have left their glory, and were dead, 
That so they might be quickened. 

O faithless ones ! that cannot bear 
Sharp pain or wan dejection, 



112 THE SENSES. 

Come witness in the vernal air 

Earth's yearly resurrection ! 
For what are we but winter roots, 
Wrapping in many folds our fruits, 

Which cannot ripen here ? 
Our spirits from their mortal birth 
Spend only in the soil of earth 

One season of the year. 
I do not scorn our earthly life : 
It is a mystery, a strife, 

A crowd of marvellings ; 
Our shadows, fashions, and degrees, 
Elsewhere have glowing substances, 
Which we may reach, when death shall please 

To give us back our wings. 

We have imprisoned by our sin 

Man's vast intelligences, 
And broken lights are flooded in 

Upon them by our senses. 
They are the inlets to our spirit, 

Ebbing, flowing ever 
From waters we shall once inherit 

In Heaven's upper river. 
They are the windows of our soul, 

From whence the captive gazes, 
And through them from the very pole, 
Sunlight and moonlight ever roll, 

While she her wild eye raises. 
She sitteth there a captive maiden, 

Upon the cold bars leaning, 
Until her bosom is dread-laden 

With all earth's lustrous meaning : 



THE SENSES. 113 

Sight's ether-winged visions seeing, 

Sound's golden circles hearing, 
With Touch dissolving space and being, 

And shades instead appearing. 
Languid with such access of joy, 

The soul herself betaketh 
To another sense of sweet alloy, 

Which earth, green earth awaketh. 
For what is Smell that wafteth by 
But the inward voice of memory ? 
Forward or up she never leadeth, 
But household melancholy breedeth ; 
Hindering with fragrant wiles our haste, 

With by-gone pleasures staying, 
Forbidding hearts such wealth to waste, 

Earth's backward call obeying, 
Waking the scent-embalmed past 

With exquisite delaying. 
Dear Sense ! and yet I dare not dream 
Thy spells which all so earthly seem 

Are only earth's creating, 
And have not from our Eden home 
To every several flowret come 

With breeze-like undulating. 
But Taste, the sense that feeds the spirit, 
Hath gifts ourselves could never merit, 
Impartings rich of heavenly mirth 
Brought out before its time on earth, 
Good things, good foretastes, angel-cheer, 

Presage of deathless might, 
That makes the soul her wings uprear, 

Like eagles in their flight. 

8 



114 THE SENSES. 

Sit, then, O Soul ! Thy Master praising, 
And through those windows keenly gazing, 

With awe thy vileness suiting ; 
Through them the inner kingdom ranging, 
All things to spirit ever changing, 

Earth to heaven commuting. 
Dread Inlets ! most mysterious Five ! 

Linking our shadows with the skies, 
By whom dead forms are made alive, 

And symbols grow realities ! 
And yet these Five may not be all : 
This college-garden is but small 

With some few dozen trees ; 
And yet scarce one was meant to grow, 
Where our long northern winters blow 

Within the English seas. 
This grew by some huge western river, 
This to the desert wind di&quiver 

In Araby the Blest : 
Yon by the warm sea-shore might smile 
Away in some West-Indian isle, 

In lordlier foliage drest. 

Who would have dreamed in those south homes, 
Where icy winter never comes, 
That in the heart of tropic trees 

A hidden sense was moulded, 
To shield them from the piercing frost 
Of northern Europe's chilly coast, 
And be far off across the seas, 
Facing the rude Atlantic breeze, 

In centuries unfolded ? 
Like powers in hearts of flesh reside, 
Like buried Senses there abide ; 






THE SENSES. 115 

Senses and Inlets fine, all over, 
Which our last rising may discover. 
Our bodies here may be the tomb 

Of powers and motions hidden, 
Which birth shall loosen from their womb 

Elsewhere when it is bidden : 
Fresh Taste and Sight, and other Hands 
Unformed, for work of other lands ; 
And secret Ears wherewith we may 

Perchance hear spirits speaking, 
And scents to guide us on our way 

To the fadeless flowers we're seeking : 
Verdure laid up in us, not wanted 

For the hours of mortal breath, 
Ready to bloom in us transplanted 

By the mystery of death. 

Thought hath a double stream, whose falls 

Keep murmuring in her sounding halls, 

Rising and sinking, faint and clear, 

As breezes waft their echoes near ; 

One springs 'mid outward forms and shows, 

And winds as it is bidden ; 
The other veils its wells, and flows 

In a woodland channel hidden ; 
And at far times reveals its floods 
In whitest gleamings through the woods, 

O'er roots of marble breaking, 
Or in a hollow green and cool 
Through many a modest lingering pool 

Its ambei waters taking. 
We have no spells to turn its flow, 
Or bid its voices come and go ; 



1 1 6 THE SENSES. 

For on its face are mirrored fair 
The lights and shapes that are elsewhere, 
And tranquil fear and shadowy love 
Brood o'er its basins from above. 
But oft in sudden turns of thought 
Both fountains are together brought, 

And mix their streams awhile ; 
And fancy then herself is seating 
To catch the sounds and whispers fleeting, 
Where Heaven and Earth in streams are meeting, 

And rippling waters smile. 
Again in hours of gentle daring 

The soul hath traced the brook some way, 
Its darkly-twisting channel wearing, 
And colored pebbles downward bearing 

From where its secret fountains play. 
Benighted in far woods, she sees 
Forms shift about among the trees, 

And vanish here and there, 
And, uttered by them in their fleetness, 
Soft voices of an earthly sweetness 

Keep trembling on the air. 
And then, when fancy's stars are waning, 
The soul her wonted home regaining, 
Yet still those mystic scenes retaining, 
The sounds and visions so impress 
Themselves upon her loneliness, 
With such a dimly-living power, 
That she in many an after-hour 
Beholds in strange and foreign places 
Familiar forms and household faces ; 
As though erewhile in vision dread 
That place or room were visited, 






THE SENSES. 117 

And strangers' voices echo round 
Like rings and links of magic sound. 
She listens well to what is spoken,. 

As though the words were old ; 
And watches for some random token, 

The wonder to unfold. 
These are the sounds and shadowy sight 

That came in waking dream, 
When she was wandering in the night 

Far up the heavenly stream. 

Oft too in slumber's pathless mountains 
The heart breaks up her ancient fountains, 

Which had for years been sealed, 
And the whole spirit overflows 
With waters that chance-dreams disclose 

In some forgotten field. 
Tree-top and rock, and nodding wood 
Group wildly in that whirling flood, 
While Earth and Heaven meet and part 
In giddy ebb and flow of heart : 
Giddy, yet held by some strong tie 

Fast in the beating springs, 
Which up above in sympathy 

Keep time by murmurings. 
For that bright stream's mysterious powers, 

And all its secret going, 
Burst on the surface most in hours 

When sleep is o'er us flowing ; 
Like gurgling wells and waterfalls 

Which, heard in stilly nights, 
Put music in the breezy calls 

That come from mountain heights. 



118 THE SENSES. 

All these quick turns of sparkling thought, 

Strange places known again, 
And dreams at hollow midnight brought, 
Are openings by these waters wrought, 

And Heaven awhile made plain. 
They who will listen at their soul, 
May hear deep down that current roll, 

Its waters sweetly timing ; 
And patient ears that listen long 
May catch the fashion of its song, 

And science of its chiming. 
Nay, sometimes by its far faint airs 
Young hearts are taken unawares ; 
As a stranger sleeping on the mountains, 

Is waked by waters in their mirth, 
Making, as they tingle from their fountains, 

Audible music through the earth. 

This is the stream, the sacred Gift, 
By which our outward world we lift 

Into a world within, 
And, because earth is dull and dark, 
Where'er these waters drop, a spark 

Of upper light they win. 
And thus two worlds, two lives are ours, 
And men move on with angel powers, 

For angel graces staying ; 
And earth becomes a pavement fair, 
Since deathless seeds are glowing there 

With a Christian inlaying. 
For this outward vest and this world we see 
With its green and its blue and white, 
With its folding-doors of day and night, 



THE SENSES. 119 

Is the silent or voiceful mystery, 
That burns at the restless heart of a youth, 
As he wanders here and there for the truth ; 
When all that he has and all that he knows 

And his spirit's fertile fountains 
Were absorbed in his childhood from the shows 

Of rivers and woods and mountains ; 
When he communed little or none with books, 

Which are dead men's empty biers, 
That imprint on our features solemn looks 

But cannot draw our tears. 
The earth is a frail transparent vase 

With heavenly lamps behind, 
The light coming through is tinted, and draws 

Figures upon the mind. 

Thought's hidden stream from its upper springs 
Hath brought us a few interpretings. 
If the world would be still, our hearts might hear 
What the secret is, when the stream winds near. 
The earth is a chur'ch where no bells are rung, 
And her beauty is slighted for want of tongue ; 
But the stream in ourselves is her voice brought back 

From Heaven where it was taken, 
That the minstrel spirit may have no lack 

Of dulcet sounds to waken. 
But a murmuring here and a murmuring there, 
And a half word falling on the air, 
Piece by piece we must weave in one, 
Till the words in music and rhythm run, 
And the poet must tell the meaning of all 
That obscure and beautiful ritual. 

So are we gifted ; so we live, 
Scarce knowing what we are : 



120 A WESTMORELAND HAMLET. 

Deep-colored flowers that feebly give 
Their scents unto the air. 

So are we gifted ; so we die ; 
We take our gifts with us : 

With the green lives that round us lie 

The way is ever thus. 

And so, when we rise from our chastening gloom, 
We are born afresh of a stainless womb, 
And the soul, that hath been like a wandering bride, 
Wanders no more, and is satisfied ; 
For the likeness she wears was the secret thing 
That lured her on in her wandering. 
And joy and love to the spirit are given, 
New colored and shaped in the moulds of Heaven ; 
And our rising shall be like a wondering flower 
That looks on the earth in her summer power 
With the pride of its earliest opening hour, 
A thing that may well surprised be 
With its .own fair scent and bravery ! 



VII. 

A WESTMORELAND HAMLET, 
i. 

THE rain hath ceased to weep upon the earth, 
The very hills put off their misty shroud ; 

And evening cometh to her sunset birth 

Through gorgeous bars of black and orange cloud, 

While the late beams their lustrous looms may ply 

To weave and unweave rainbows in the sky. 



A WESTMORELAND HAMLET. 121 

II. 

Beneath this mountain terrace, at my feet 

Lies one of England's calm and green-field hollows, 

And a small village with its rain-washed street, 
And eaves beset with clouds of autumn swallows ; 

And the full river with its radiant flowing 

Is like a harmless-natured serpent glowing. 

in. 

The sounds, which from the cottages ascend 

Through the thin smoke that trembles up so lightly, 

With deep soul-soothing interchanges blend 

Toil's sweet fatigue and childhood's clamor sprightly, 

Where children, prisoned by the rain all day, 

Win their undreaming sleep in evening play. 

IV. 

There fathers watch, well-pleased, with folded arms, 
And at the doors young mothers come and go, 

And age, in out-door chairs, doth borrow charms, 
More than it wots of, from that sunset glow, 

And youths unblamed their early beds may press 

O'ercome by labor's pleasant weariness. 



v. 

The last gleam lingers on the hallowed ground, 
Where angels oft descend from realms of light, 

And now, with twilight's dreaded fence drawn round, 
The churchyard path is quiet for the night ; 

Though many a matron opes her casement there, 

That she may breathe good dreams with churchyard air. 



122 A WESTMORELAND HAMLET. 



O mighty are the gifts, and manifold 

The tides of moral health and strength that roll 
Through yon small street, not to be bought or sold, 

But fresh from God in many a peasant soul,- 
That might arise, and with meet aid from high, 
Buoy England up against her destiny ! 

VII. 

O England ! England ! wherefore so forswear 
The healthy powers that with resistless shock 

Bade fettered nations all their incense bear 
To thy few leagues of billow-beaten rock, 

And crowned thee empress on this ocean brow, 

Where, lulled by foreign winds, thou sleepest now ? 

VIII. 

Calm lies upon the hamlet, calm and sleep : 
And, as I gaze on it, my pulses quicken, 

And echoes seem from every bush to leap, 

Like the loud names that in our slumbers thicken,- 

Echoes that come the autumn evening freighting 

With England's name in low reverberating. 

IX. 

No boyish habit is my love for thee ; 

For it came on with slow and conscious stealings, 
So that thy woods and waters now must be 

To me instead of passions and of feelings : 
Yet every month thy thoughtless ways are loading 
Dejected hearts like mine with dull foreboding. 



A WESTMORELAND HAMLET. 123 

X. 

Not banks of cloud upon the mountain stooping, 
Unmoved through ailing weeks of cheerless rain, 

Not \vant of letters when my soul is drooping 
For lack of love and yet may not complain, ., 

Not these, so much as thy poor barrenness, 

In all high thoughts and deeds, upon me press. 

XI. 

If in a harbor on a sunny day, 

Foreseeing fate, thou mightest range the deck 
Of some good ship, that on her Indian way 

In one short week was doomed to midnight wreck, 
AVhere rugged partings blend half-smiling fears 
With loves that play, like rainbows, among tears, 

XII. 

Oh ! hath thy moral frame got nerves so strong 
To look with calmness into those clear faces, 

Setting their noisy sails with shout and song, 
To come no more unto their household places, 

But find, without church benison, a pillow 

On the salt sea's unconsecrated billow. 

XIII. 

Such are the thoughts, my country ! which I bear 
Close to my heart all day and night for thee, 

Drinking in life with thine imperial air 
Fraught with the healthy spirit of the sea, 

Haply mistaking motes that dim mine eye 

For shapes and shadowings of prophecy. 



124 A WESTMORELAND HAMLET. 

XIV. 

Not that I fear, as some, mechanic force, 
Which runs our life into another mould ; 

Earth shall not see thought's wonder-working force 
Twisted aside by means for getting gold : 

These have no moral soul within them swelling, 

No spirit-pulse, no passionate indwelling. 

xv. 

Great times are greatest in their ruins ; these 
On after-years no giant shades may cast, 

Where flesh and soul may both dig palaces 
In the huge relics of a glorious past, 

As from the aqueducts Rome left behind, 

Types of the cumbrous beauty of her mind. 

XVI. 

But I have fears, mayhap too hotly cherished, 

Of the dense towns, like storm-clouds, o'er the land, 

Killing the popular heart that had been nourished 
With fear and love, all chaste from nature's hand, 

Spurning the weight wherewith the green earth lies 

On peasant spirits with her mysteries. 

XVII. 

And I have fears, less quickened time should bring 
Guesses and notions, clothed in earnest dress, 

And men, from this reformed self-worshipping, 
Should make an idol of their earnestness, 

Counting unreal love of moral beauty 

Coin that may pass for simple-hearted duty. 



THE RIVER EDEN. 125 

XVIII. 

O that my tongue to such calm power were wrought, 
With life to kindle, sweetness to assuage 

Its own good fires, to lodge some mighty thought 
Far in the soul of this self-praising age, 

Received into all England's wood and hill, 

A native echo, heard when strifes are still. 

XIX. 

England hath need of harmless men, whose minds 
May draw to their own color every heart, 

Working in spots where angel help unbinds 
The chains that fetter noblest souls apart, 

That she might now, as erst, compacted be 

Within one spiritual Unity. 



VIII. 
ON REVISITING THE RIVER EDEN, 

IN WESTMORELAND, 1836. 

AT night I heard the river's quiet sound 
Still flowing on o'er that enchanted ground 
As years ago it flowed : th' autumnal breeze 
Lay hushed within the dark-leaved alder-trees, 
And from unclouded skies the moon's cold beam 
Fell in a silver shower upon the stream ; 
And oh ! how fair, how heavenly fair the scene 
Caught through the leafy aisles and arches green, 
Where light and shade, most marvellously thrown, 
Rest on each giant tree and mossy stone ! 



126 THE RIVER EDEN. 

Soft as the light that Faith doth shed around, 
Whene'er her pathway lies through holy ground ; 
Dim as the mist through which she loves to see 
But half-unveiled the lines of mystery ; 
Glorious beyond expression as the thought 
The hour of death to saintly men hath brought ! 

Ah ! Memory wakes to feel at this lone hour 
Her own dear Eden's meekest, holiest power ; 
How many a tale of other times she brings 
With her eternal, harp-like murmurings ! 
How sad the thought that weary years are gone 
And the steep heights of virtue not yet won ; 
Alas ! how sharp the pang, how keen the sense 
Of vows forgotten, slighted penitence ; 
And yet how cheering too the hope from heaven 
Of mercy there, and sin that is forgiven. 

Dear Eden ! the retreats of this green wood 
Have heard the roar of many a winter flood, 
Since last I wandered here to while away 
The golden hours of schoolboy holiday : 
Thoughtful even then because of the excess 
Of boyhood's rich abounding happiness ; 
And sad whene'er St. Stephen's curfew-bell 
Warned me to leave the spots I loved so well. 
Each hazel-copse, each greenly-tangled bower 
Is sacred to some well-remembered hour ; 
Some quiet hour when Nature did her part, 
And worked her spell upon my childish heart. 
Ah ! little deemed I then that thou couldst wind 
Thyself with such strange power into my mind. 
Sweet scene! thou art not changed since then! the air, 
The trees, the fields, all are, as then they were, 
Happy and beautiful, like fairy-land 



THE KNIGHTS OF ST. JOHN. 127 

Fresh born beneath the wild enchanter's wand. 

But hark ! down Kirby vale the curfew knell 
Then fare thee well, dear Eden, fare thee well ! 
And may thine image, wildly-dashing river, 
Abide with me an household thing for ever. 



IX. 
THE KNIGHTS OF ST. JOHN. 

OH, Memory ! as our boyish years roll by, 
How many a vision fades from Fancy's eye, 
How many a golden dream of days long past, 
And airy hopes, too fair, too bright to last ! 
All, all are gone. The wild Arabian tale, 
Aladdin's lamp, and Sinbad's magic sail, 
These have no power to chain the listening ear, 
Or hush the soul in extasy of fear : 
Untenanted, unhaunted now, the hill, 
The lonely heath, the waving woods are still ; 
Fairies no more beneath the moon's pale light 
Reveal their mystic dance to mortal sight ; 
Each shadowy form grows dim ; and we deplore 
A splendor that is seen on earth no more. 

Yes ! It is Manhood's haughty right to quell 
Young fancy's fire, and break the darling spell, 
To strip the mind of all she valued most, 
And grant her poor return for what she lost. 

Land of Romance, Farewell ! Yet though we part 
With these fond superstitions of the heart, 
Oh let us not in scornful wisdom deem 
These old memorials but a baseless dream, 



128 THE KXKJIITS OF ST. JOHN. 

Mere phantoms idly raised to while away 
The lingering hours of some long summer's day. 
Far otherwise they think, who best may scan 
The powers at work within the heart of man. 
They know how heavenly pure the soul should be, 
Which fancy's gentle thraldom hath made free ; 
They know how pensive thoughts may best arise 
To kindle nature's holiest sympathies, 
The deep affections of the breast to move, 
And call to life the strong, meek power of love. 
Visions like these float swiftly through the mind, 
Like the soft Sowings of the voiceless wind. 
Have ye not seen the shadow-stains that glide 
On gleamy days along the mountain side, 
How they unveil in every green recess 
Strange, mingling scenes of power and loveliness, 
And then in stately pomp ride on ? So too 
Imagination's gay, though transient, hue 
Discloses to the reason's inward eyes 
Somewhat of nature's depths and mysteries. 

And thus with you, fair forms of days gone by, 
Glories of Song, high feats of chivalry ! 
Cold were the man whom tales of ladye-love 
And knightly prowess have no spell to move. 
Such were the strains that gushed like living fire 
From the wild chords of Ariosto's lyre ; 
Or from that harp, alas ! too soon unstrung, 
That to the Tweed's wild dashings sweetly rung, 
Whose mourning waves still softly bear along 
The dying echoes of her poet's song. 

Holiest of Knighthood's gallant sons were Ye, 
A sainted band, the Knights of Charity ! 
'Twas not an earthly guerdon that could move 



THE KNIGHTS OF ST. JOHN. 129 

Your gentle Brotherhood to acts of love. 
Fame's silver star, and honor's dazzling meeds, 
And glory reaped in battle's daring deeds, 
These could not lure those hearts to mercy given, 
Who, poor on earth, were rich in hopes of Heaven. 
Yes ! it was well in those dark days of old 
Europe should wonder, as her Pilgrims told 
How haughty warriors left the lordly hall 
For the rude cells of that poor Hospital,* 
And bade ambition's restless throbbing cease 
At the still watchword of the Prince of Peace : 
How along Salem's streets, in sable vest, 
The Silver Cross emblazoned on the breast, 
The lowly brothers moved with hurried tread 
To tend the wayworn pilgrim's dying bed, 
And give, for Christ's dear Name, to that dim hour 
Religion's awful, consecrating power. 

Peace to that ruined City ! peace to those 
Whose sainted ashes in her vaults repose ! 
There, when the Arabian Prophet's countless throng 
Rolled, like an eastern locust swarm, along, 
And blight came down upon the nations, there 
St. John's bright banner floated in the air, 
Curling its glossy folds against the sky, 
While clarions pealed, and pennons waved on high. 
One speechless look, one silent prayer to Heaven, 
And, hark ! the Christian's battle-cry is given : 
The dauntless knights thrust back the advancing flood, 
And Siloa's brook runs red with Moslem blood. 

Alas, fair Salem ! Piety may weep 

*In the Hospital, the Knights wore a black vest, with a White 
Cross of eight points on the left breast. In the Camp, the White 
Cross on a red vest. 

9 



130 THE KNIGHTS OF ST. JOHN. 

O'er the dark caverns where thy champions sleep, 
There stern disorder strews along the ground 
Fragments of elder, holier days around, 
And ruin rears aloft her ghastly form, 
Dim-shadowed in the blackness of the storm. 
No feathery nopal-tree, nor spreading palm 
Shed o'er thyhills their wildly-graceful charm. 
Few flowers are there, but round each falling tomb 
In scattered tufts bright orange-lilies bloom, 
Bursting from out their silvery, gauzelike sheath 
To smile in beauty o'er the shrines of death ; 
And cedars crown the hills, a silent band, 
The only warders of thy wasted land ; 
Thine only troubadour the southern breeze, 
Singing his quiet song among those ancient trees. 

Vainly for you, brave Knights, did Europe pour 
Her ardent bands upon that sacred shore. 
Vainly St. Louis' Oriflamme rode high 
In gleamy splendor on the eastern sky, 
Far in the swarthy vales, where ancient Nile 
Rolls his rich flood round many a lotus-isle. 
Too fruitful harvest of the Paynim lance, 
There lay thy chosen sons, unhappy France ! 
Vainly did Edward lead the bannered host, 
While England's war-cry ran along the coast ; 
The Saracens rolled on, and thousands fell 
Before the cohorts of the -infidel, 
And bright above the eddying tide of war 
The conquering Crescent glittered from afar. 
Yet still, where carnage fiercest swept the field, 
The Crimson Vest, like lightning, shone revealed ; 
Still, still they come, the Warrior-Brothers come, 
Where on the ruined altars of their home 



THE KNIGHTS OF ST. JOHN. 131 

Are hung bright crowns of holiest martyrdom ! 

That glory hath gone by! On Jud^h's shore 
The Christian soldier plants the Cross no more ; 
And Acre's ramparts, wasted Ascalon, 
Mourn for the gallant Brothers of St. John. 
And sadly now, brave Knights, upon the seas 
Your fading banner droops, as though the breeze 
That wooed its silken folds to play, had come 
From the green hills that ivere that banner's home. 
There on his deck the silent Warrior stood 
Scanning with sternest gaze the heaving flood, 
As if to find in those dark depths below 
Some rnagic talisman to soothe his woe. 
He dared not eye the sunny land that lay 
In the blue distance many a mile away. 

The glory passed away ; her icy hand 
Dark misbelief had laid on that dear land. 
Yet, faithful still, the western Pilgrim trod 
In pensive silence up the Mournful Road, 
And jnarked with fond affection's eager eye 
Where the Redeemer was led forth to die. 
Oh ! was it strange in such an hour to feel 
A dim, a shadowy dread around him steal, 
(Not the unholy, restless fear that springs 
From out the bitterness of earthly things,) 
A hallowed dread, that lulls the soul to rest, 
And whispers peace and gladness to the breast, 
Shedding around our path, where'er we move, 
The deathless lustre of intensest love ? 
If thou wouldst know how those fond pilgrims felt, 
When, weeping, at their Saviour's tomb they knelt, 
Go, seek some chancel where the moonbeams throw 
Their cold, chaste radiance on the tombs below, 



132 THE KNIGHTS OF ST. JOHN. 

Where the world- wearied nun her vigil keeps 
And at the lamp-lit altar prays and weeps: 
Go, mark her quivering lips, her streaming eyes 
Upraised in speechless fervor to the skies, 
And read that love, which words may not express, 
In the pale depth of their blue sileutness. 

Far o'er the waves those gallant Warriors roam 
To win in other climes another home. 
Four years they fought, fair Rhodes, 'gainst leaguered 

powers, 

To plant their banner on thine ancient towers : 
They fought and conquered. On the Grecian seas 
In fearless triumph ride their argosies, 
Where erst the pirate-barques were wont to sweep 
In haughty lordship o'er the Lycian dee]). 
No more the lone felucca seeks to glide 
Round the tall headlands on the summer tide, 
Or smoothly steals along from shore to shore, 
Charming the ear of night with muffled oar. 
But Moslem hatred sleeps not : that dark host, 
Flung like a weary billow on a coast 
Gathers with angry sound. Ah ! who shall tell 
What met thy gaze, thou lonely Sentinel, 
When, standing watchful on St. Stephen's hill, 
The City lay below thee, fair and still ? 
In reddening streaks, that peaceful April morn,* 
Across the sea the first faint light was borne. 
Tire calm JEge&n spread her breast of blue 
To skies of deeper yet, and lovelier hue, 

*" In the end of April, 1480, the grand armament entered the 
Lycian waters, aud the Rhodian sentinel stationed on the summit 
of Mount St. Stephen, a hill two miles from the city, notified )>y 
signal that the Crescent was in sight." Sutherland's Achieve- 
ments of the Knights of St. John, vol. ii., p. 9. 



THE KNIGHTS OF ST. JOHN. 133 

To Grecian skies ! And there old Asia lay, 
Touched with the golden hand of early day ; 
And wide beneath him stretched his native isle, 
Bright with an eastern spring-tide's magic smile. 
Meadows of flowering myrrh perfume the breeze 
That freshens o'er the bosom of the seas : 
And there yon forest's leafy depths entwine 
Their budding foliage round the Parian shrine ; 
And delicate wild-roses too have thrown 
Their blushing chaplets round the chiselled stone 
In natural gracefulness ; to morning's rays 
The laurel-rose her gaudy gem displays, 
Where the soft-rippling streamlet gently moves, 
Winding with quiet lapse among the groves. 
Beautiful island, ! fair that morn wert thou, 
How passing fair in all thy ruin now ! 

Lo ! On the sea a thousand Crescents gleam, 
Glancing and flashing in the rising beam : 
And thickly gathering sounds come sweeping by 
Of war-cries fierce and maddening minstrelsy ; 
And, wild and harsh, the cymbal-note is borne 
On the deep stillness of the breaking morn. 
Mohammed's galleys come ! The Sentinel 
Rung from his lofty tower the larum bell, 
And, as its toll in startling accents spoke 
Of danger and of fear, the sleeping City woke ! 
Then came the battle's din : the cannon's roar 
Was echoed back from Caramania's shore ; 
And fearfully along that lovely sky 
Glared the red tempest of artillery. 

Dear was that triumph bought, Brave Chief, for thou,* 

* Peter d'Aubusson; Thirty-eighth Grand-master; called the 
Buckler of Christendom. 



134 THE KNIGHTS OF ST. JOHX. 

When death came down upon thy laurelled brow, 

Didst in that hour with clear, prophetic eye, 

The gathering storm of eastern war descry : 

And, Rhodes, thy matrons might have spared the tear 

They shed so wildly o'er the old man's bier. 

They might have spared it for that bitter day 

When through thy shattered streets they took their way, 

And He,* the generous victor, wept to see 

The high-souled chieftain's peerless dignity ,f 

Deeming a Christian had some magic power 

To bear him up in sorrow's darkest hour. 

Where were thy tears, wide Europe, when the blast 
Of Paynim war o'er that fair island passed ? 
And where thy gratitude, when ocean bore 
That close-furled banner to the Latian shore? 
Was it for you it oft had waved on high, 
Decked in the crimson pride of victory? 
Alas ! On far St. Elmo's castled steep, 
I5y whose low crags the waters never sleep, 
It hangs its sullen splendors o'er the deep ; 
Far from that hill around whose rocky base J 
A hundred villas shine with eastern grace. 
No terraced vines, no lilied fields are here, 
Laughing in rich luxuriance all the year : 
No incense-breathing gardens freight the breeze 
That makes low music in the cypress trees : 
Ah no ! the hot sirocco's withering breath 
Flings o'er yon hills the arid hue of death, 
And the fierce sun looks glaring from on high, 

*Solyrnan the Munificent. 

f Villiers de 1'Isle Adam; Forty-second Grand-mastej. 
J The St. Elmo at Malta was so called from a hill of the same 
name at Rhodes. 



THE KNIGHTS OF ST. JOHN. 135 

As though a curse were in his broad, bright eyte. 
His beams, like locusts, sweep the weary land, 
Or burn like flames upon the cloudless strand, 
While the tired eye explores the dazzling air, 
But seeks in vain no grateful cloud is there. 
No sylvan groves, no hospitable shades 
Temper the ruthless noontide in their glades ; 
Only the stiff carrubas there are found, 
Spots of black foliage on the tawny ground ; 
While the long-trailing melons here and there 
Weave a green carpet o'er the surface bare, 
And the red cactus-blossoms, as they smile, 
Mock the scant verdure of the dusty isle. 

There like an eagle in her rocky bower, 
The gallant Order braved the Moslem power, 
While Europe echoed with their martial fame, 
And rung with La Valette's undying name. 
Alas ! 'twas as a gleam of glory shed 
From stormy skies upon the mountain's head. 
That gleam is past ; and England's pennon now 
Floats gaily o'er St. Elmo's castled brow. 
Beneath that guardian pennon, undismayed 
Wealth's busy votaries ply their peaceful trade, 
And church-bells fill with life the languid breeze 
That scarce can curl the hollow murmuring seas, 
While the white city, strong in faith and love, 
Looks on her azure inlets from above, 
And wraps old memories round her, like a spell, 
Of shipwrecked Paul who loved her land so well ; 
Whom wild waves cast upon her barbarous shore, 
That Melita might serve false gods no more. 
Now, as night's silent footfall steals along, 
The Maltese boatman chants his even-song, 



136 THE KNIGHTS OF ST. JOHN. 

Freighting with Mary's name the moonlit air 

That silvers many an old memorial there ; 

And many a hospice, blanched and seamed with years, 

O'er the deep-shadowed streets its head uprears ; 

And lowly wisdom loves to render yet 

The unavailing tribute of regret 

To an historic glory that hath set ! 

Farewell, then, gentle Warriors ! Once again 
'Tis meet to raise the faintly-dying strain. 
'Twas meet that when the pageantry of death 
Hung round the hero's tomb the laurel-wreath, 
'Twas meet his minstrel-boy should linger near 
To weep alone upon his master's bier. 
And often to the Warrior's silent cell 
From a far land soft dreams shall come to dwell, 
While busy fancy marks with curious eye 
Tall helmet-plumes and bannered lines glance by, 
Or feeds her meditative soul from springs 
Of sunny thoughts and deep imaginings. 
Oh ! still in memory's clear, pathetic light 
Shall live those dream-like forms for ever bright ! 
Yes ! while undying spirits still must crave 
A better, nobler land beyond the grave, 
In lowliness the feeling heart shall come 
And watch by the Crusader's marble tomb, 
Till the weird stillness of the cloistered air 
Steals o'er the soul, and charms it into prayer, 
And the strong-glancing, eagle eye of Faith, 
Sees far into the tranquil things of Death ! 



HEIDELBERG CASTLE. 137 



X. 

HEIDELBERG CASTLE. 

OH ! if there be a spot upon the earth 

Where ruin hath more lightly laid her hand 

Than elsewhere, surely it is this fair place ! 

Who ever saw decay more beautiful, 

Than when she holds her silent court as now 

Within the mouldering crypts of Heidelberg ? 

Nay, one might think that Time himself were awed 

By such memorials of man's pomp and power, 

So that he walked with somewhat of a soft 

And reverential step, as we should tread 

Over the ashes of departed friends. . 

Spirit of Desolation ! Men may come 
To do thee homage in thy lone retreats, 
When broad-leaved summer hangs about the walls 
Her drapery of various green to hide 
The unseemly scars of time, and from the towers 
Gay flowering creepers fling their tendrils down 
For the soft summer winds to wanton with, 
A banner bright as those that floated there 
Upon some pageant day in olden time. 
Yes, doubtless this would be a lovely place 
At such a season, when the tufted pinks 
And scented wallflowers cling to every stone, 
And when the narrow mountain-paths appear 
Winding through vineyards, rich with purple grapes. 
Yet that is not the season when the power 



138 HEIDELBERG CASTLE. 

Of Desolation is most deeply felt. 

No ; winter hath a beauty of its own, 

And more in harmony with spots like these. 

The summer loves not silence : her great charm 

Is in the concourse of a thousand sounds: 

The birds, the winds, the very earth herself 

Breathing with life at every bursting pore, 

And that low ringing melody that comes 

I know not whence or how, except it be 

From things inanimate ; so all unlike . . 

To winter's tranquil and unbroken hush, 

When frosts have locked the trickling well-springs up 

In the earth's caverns, and the winds are furled 

Within the bosom of the brooding storm. 

There is a deep embrasure in the hall 
Wherein I sat, so buried and absorbed 
In thought, I almost seemed to have become 
Part of the spirit of that lonely place. 
It passed upon me like a dreamy spell, 
And viewless as the air that clothes the earth. 

About the Castle stood the shaggy hills, 
Hung round with dark and uncouth legends, such 
As feed great minds, and are themselves the mind 
Of a great nation ; and amongst the woods 
Young boys and little maidens went about, 
Stripping the glossy ivy from the trees, 
To hang as Christmas garlands round their doors. 
Fur off, a group of charcoal burners stood, 
And from their fire the constant smoke went up 
In curls of faintest blue, how silently ! 
And ever and anon the chattering jay 
With his rude note awoke the slumbering woods, 
Displacing the sweet stillness that was there. 



HEIDELBERG CASTLE. 139 

But then the silence came again, and grew 

Far more intense with now and then a pause, 

When an old fount, that fell with splashing sound 

On the green stones below the Castle wall, 

Smote on my ear ; a sound most desolate, 

And dreary as a tune that comes to mind 

In some lone bower where those we've loved and lost 

Were wont to be, and now can be no more ! 

All these things came upon me with a shock, 
Yet wherefore it were hard to say, when all 
So silent were, and so supremely calm, 
Yet did they come upon me like a sound 
That breaks on silence unawares, a shock 
Unsettling many most familiar thoughts, 
And feelings that were household in my heart. 
I was as one who dimly felt his way 
Among great truths and perilous mysteries, 
To whom the knowledge of deep things did seem 
About to be revealed, the mighty powers 
With which the air is all impregnated, 
And the great earth, and the far-rolling sea, 
And the unquiet intellect of man ; 
That something which is like the lightning-fire 
That leaps and lives within the thundercloud, 
And is its fiery soul, and drives it on 
In fierce career against the wind ! Then came 
That desperate, sickening pang of impotence, 
Which cannot grasp the truth that it hath touched, 
As if that touch had paralyzed its hand. 
But quick a sense of exultation rose, 
And an ethereal buoyancy that thrilled 
My very soul, and lightened all my life 
Of that which weighed it down, and lifted me 



140 HEIDELBERG CASTLE. 

Far up upon the wings of power. I saw 
The mighty truth that I would fain possess 
Fixed in a region above all things else, 
And in that region did I seem to walk. 
Oh ! it was like a distant city seen 
All lying in a bath of beauteous light, 
Within the heart of a rich golden haze, 
Cheating the evening traveller's anxious eye 
Of many a mile of weary distance when 
The sun goes down, and all is gloom again. 

O wherefore have these tranquil images 
Of deepest winter, with its drear expanse 
Of brooding silence, wrought within my soul 
So hotly and unquietly ? For who 
Would e'er have dreamed that such profound repose, 
Snow-buried, wind-less, desolate, and cold,. 
Was but a gate to the invisible world, 
An unexpected outlet to the land 
Of inmost thought, which men so seldom reach, 
Whose truths appear unspeakably to shun 
The chains of words, and even to elude 
The outlines of material images ? 

O Mother Earth ! how near thou art to Heaven ! 
For matter lies for ever in the lap 
Of spirit, and their subtle boundaries 
Fade, and revive, and quiver like the light, 
In most intelligent confusion, now 
Efface, and now repaint themselves again, 
Repose one moment in distinctness, then 
Gleam like the infinite without an edge, 
And melt within the furnace-fires of thought, 
Seen, yet unseen, now glowing on the eye, 
And now withdrawn in an excess of light 



HEIDELBERG CASTLE. 141 

Deeper than darkness. So these limits seem, 
Dividing realms so opposite, and spheres 
Which underlie each other, rugged cliffs 
That crumble at a touch, yet from whose heights, 
As from the undiscovered end of space, 
Men fall at once into some other world, 
Some new and unimaginable life ; 
Walls that man knocks against and knocks in vain, 
And yet so imperceptibly confused 
That all seems smooth as summer lake between, 
Matter and spirit pressing on each other, 
Stealing or borrowing each the other's place, 
With sweet encroachments, now as calm and slow 
As the white flush of dawn, now shooting swift 
Like the cold arrows of the boreal fire 
That climb half heaven at once in rosy flight, 
Or mingling unconsumingly in depths 
Of flickering splendors, volatile as are 
The vivid hues at eve exhaled in space 
Out of the speechless throbbing sunsets. 

Thus 

Mind has a space, a medium of its own, 
Room for itself, more intimate and near, 
More vast and more accessible, than that 
Through which material worlds must plough their way 
Not unresisted ; and the softest scenes, 
Fair forms, faint sounds, and fickle airy hues, 
The play of light, the splash of waters, pomps 
Of rolling clouds that creak not, and the blank 
Of midnight's unreverberating ear, 
The strain of silence listening for a sound, 
The patterns of the moonlight on the grass, 
The undulations of sweet scents, all these 



142 THE ISIS. 

Give way, like snow-drifts, 'neath the weight of thought, 

And let us down through the material world, 

As if it were a veil of thinnest silk, 

Into an inner world, whose fantasies 

Are few in number, dwelling far apart, 

Alone, in couples, or like nomad tribes 

Upon the roomy steppe, and where all thoughts 

Are colorless, without terrestrial shapes, 

And with an influence like creative words, 

So that each thought is word and work at once, 

Substantial, permanent, and giant-like, 

Widening the mind, transfiguring the will, 

And taking down the frightened faculties 

To that deep point in self, where God vouchsafes 

To confine on our thoughts, and touch our souls. 

It struck the hour of noon : the quiet sound 
Came muffled through the fleecy folds of mist, 
That thickly hung upon the town below. 
So faint was it and soft yet so distinct 
It seemed the spirit of a sound, escaped 
From some more gross and heavy atmosphere. 



XI. 

THE ISIS, 
i. 



EARLY one twilight morn I sought 
A favorite woodland shade, 

A place where out of idleness 
Some profit might be made. 



THE ISIS. 143 

II. 
The voices of the little birds 

Were musical and loud, 
Buried among the twinkling leaves, 

A merry, merry crowd. 

in. 
But when the gallant sun rode up 

Into his own broad sky, 
The very wood itself did seem 

Alive with melody. 

IV. 

And there the golden city lay 

Safe in her leafy nest, 
And softly on her clustering towers 

The blush of dawn did rest. 

v. 
Onward for many and many a mile, 

Through fields that lay below, 
Old Isis, with his glassy stream, 

Came pleasantly and slow. 

VI. 

The spring with blossoms rich and fair 

Had fringed the river's edge, 
Pale Mayflowers, and wild hyacinths, 

And spears of tall green sedge. 

VII. 

The ripple on the flowery marge 

A pleasant sound did yield, 
And pleasant was the wind that waved 

The long grass in the field. 



144 THE ISIS. 

vm. 
And there is something in a stream 

That fascinates the eye, 
A charm in that eternal flow 

That ever glideth by. 

IX. 

For still by river sides the hours 

Will often lapse away, 
Till evening almost seems to steal 

A march upon the day. 

x. 

So should it be with Man's career : 
Each hour a duty find, 

And not a stone be there to check 
The current of the mind. 

XI. 

The path of duty, like the stream, 
Hath flowers that round it bloom, 

The thicker and the lovelier 
The nearer to the tomb. 

XII. 

And, ah ! the best and purest life 
Is that which passes slow, 

And -yet withal so evenly, 
We do not feel it go. 



HOPE. 145 



XII. 
HOPE. 

i. 

How much they wrong thee, gentle Hope ! who say 
That thou art light of heart, and bright of eye ! 
Ah ! no, thou wert not hope, if thou wert gay : 
She hath no part with idle gaiety ! 

ii. 

The gay think only of the passing hour, 
And the light mirth the flying moments yield ; 
But thou dost come when days of darkness lower, 
And with the future dost the present gild. 

. in. 

Yes ; thou, sweet Power! art Grief's twin-sister, given 
To walk with her the weary world around, 
Scattering, like dew, the fragrant balm of heaven, 
Where she hath left her freshly bleeding wound. 

IV. 

Oh ! often have I pictured thee in dreams, 
For thou wert always very dear to me ; 
And never was I sad but sunny gleams 
Have visited my drooping heart from thee. 

v. 

Yet words can scarce portray thy lovely face, 
As it hath shone on me at dead of night, 
Wreathed with a smile of calm and serious grace. 
Chaste as the moon's, as pensive, and as bright. 
10 



146 ASH-WEDNESDAY. 

VI. 

When pity for the grief we would beguile, 
And the glad thought that we can render aid, 
Strive in the heart, and blend into a smile, 
'Tis thou that makest sunshine out of shade. 

VII. 

And on thy brow there sits eternally 
A look of deep, yet somewhat anxious bliss, 
With a wild light that nestles in thine eye, 
As though its home were not a world like this. 



XIII. 
ASH-WEDNESDAY. 

"And when he began to sink, he cried out, saying: Lord, save me." 
' ST. MATT. xiv. 30. 



LORD ! I am Thine, Thy little child ; 
Though fiercely still within, and wild 

The fires of youth may burn ; 
Oh be not angry if I weep, 
And dread these stormy waters deep, 

Master ! to Thee I turn. 

n. 

And, if in zeal and forward haste, 
rashly from the ship I passed, 
And tempted danger here, 



ASH-WEDNESDAY. 147 

Too great for one so weak as me, 
Yet, Lord, it was to come to Thee, 
Oh let me find Thee near ! 

in. 

Now in these days of dimness holy 
And spirit-searching melancholy, 

Strengthen my drooping heart : 
And let me stop each wayward sense 
In pure and secret abstinence, 

And from the world depart. 

IV. 

The Church, my Mother, calls me on 
To follow Jesus, all alone, 

Across the desert lea ; 
And wrestle with the Tempter there 
In vigils of incessant prayer, 

And with wild beasts to be. 

v. 

And well I know, when weak and faint 
With weary days in fasting spent, 

I must lose sight of Him : 
And peevish thoughts and tempers ill 
The ardor of my breast will chill, 

And make my lamp burn dim. 

VI. 

Then by the hour that saw me rest, 
Safe as a fledgling in his nest, 

Within the white robe's fold, 
And by the Cross that on my brow 
He signed, the seal that devils know, 

Jesus ! Thy son uphold ! 



148 EASTER COMMUNION. 

VII. 

But I will quell my doubts and fears, 
And on where holy Sinai rears 

Its form before my eyes, 
For I can see above its head 
A rim of growing glory spread 

The light of Easter skies ! 



XIV. 

EASTER COMMUNION, 
i. 

THE mystery of mysteries ! 
Now let the pure in heart draw nigh, 
While every pulse is beating high 

With love and holy fear ; 
For Christ hath risen at break of day, 
And bids us from the world away 

And haste to meet Him here. 

n. 

The mystery of mysteries ! 
The Angels and Archangels come 
On wings of light from out their home 

In ranks of glory wheeling : 
Our souls shall mix and blend with theirs, 
In loud thank-offerings and prayers, 
Before the Altar kneeling. 

in. 

The mystery of mysteries ! 
The souls that still in dimness dwell 



THE COMMUNION OF SAINTS. 149 

Deep in the Church invisible, 

From doubt and care remote, 

They too shall keep the feast to-day, 

And to their cells, though far away, 
The hymn of joy shall float. 

IV. 

The mystery of mysteries ! 
Oh ! far and wide through all the earth 
Emotions of unwonted mirth 

And feeling strange shall be ; 
And secret sounds shall come and go 
Harmonious as the throbbing flow 

Of the mysterious sea. 

v. 

The mystery of mysteries ! 
The dead and living shall be one, 
And thrills of fiery transport run 

With sweetest power through all ; 
For one in heart and faith are we, 
And moulded one, our Head ! through Thee, 

The Body Mystical ! 

VI. 

The mystery of mysteries ! 
From east to west the earth shall turn, 
And stay its busy feet to learn 

The musical vibration ; 
While Saints and Angels high shall raise 
In one vast choir the hymn to praise 

The Feast of our Salvation. 



150 THE SIGNS OF THE TIMES. 



XV. 

THE SIGNS OF THE TIMES. 

"But yet the Son of Man when He cometh, shall He find, think you, 
faith on the earth?" ST. LUKE, xviii, 8. 



THE days of old were days of might 
In forms of greatness moulded, 

And flowers of Heaven grew on the earth 
Within the Church unfolded : 

For grace fell fast as summer dew, 

And saints to giant stature grew. 

n. 

But one by one the gifts are gone 
That in the world abounded, 

When it within the Church's walls 
Was willingly surrounded ; 

And weary nations scarce can bide 

The thrall of power unsanctified. 

m. 

A blight hath passed upon the world, 

Her summer hath departed, 
The chill of age is on her sons, 

The cold and fearful-hearted ; 
And sad, amid neglect and scorn, 
Our Mother sits and weeps forlorn. 



OXFORD IN SPRING. 151 



Narrow and narrower still each year 

The holy circle groweth, 
And what the end of all shall be 

Nor man nor Angel knoweth : 
And so we wait and watch in fear ; 
It may be that the Lord is near ! 






XVI. 
OXFORD IN SPRING. 

" Templa quatn dilecta ! " 
I. 

How gentle are the days that bring 
The promise of the faithful year, 
Sweet early pledges of the spring, 

Sweetest while winter still is near ; 
Like thoughts in time of sorrow given, 
Filling the heart with glowing types of Heaven ! 

ii. 

The little buds upon the thorn, 

Are peeping from their pale green hood ; 
Pink rows of almond-flowers adorn 

With many a gem the leafless wood, 
And gaily on the vernal breeze 
Dance the light tassels of the hazel-trees. 

in. 
The early rose is blushing sweet 

In yonder sunny sheltered place, 
Where spring and winter seem to meet 



152 OXFORD IN SPRING. 

And blend with wild fantastic grace, 
And under skies of coldest blue 
The crocus fills her yellow cup with dew. 

IV. 

The sun shines on the city walls, 
The meadows fair, and elmy woods, 

And o'er her gray and time-stained halls 
A quiet studious spirit broods. 

O when shall faith be free to come 
And find within these stately aisles a home ? 

v. 

Thy timeworn bounds a precinct give 

Where forms of ancient mould might stay, 

Enduring truths that would outlive 
The jarring systems of a day ; 

And then with men of evil will 
How calmly mightst thou sit, and fearless still ! 

VI. 

For now, when all things round are bright, 
Those voiceless towers so tranquil seem, 

And yet so solemn in their might, 
A loving heart could almost deem 

That they themselves might conscious be 
That they were filled with immortality ! 






OXFORD IN WINTER. 



153 



XVII. 

OXFORD IN WINTER. 

i. 

CITY of wildest sunsets, which do pile 

Their dark-red castles on that woody brow ! 

Fair as thou art in summer's moonlight smile, 
There are a hundred cities fair as thou. 

But still with thee alone all seasons round 

Beauty and change in their own right abound. 

n. 
Whole winter days swift rainy lights descend, 

Ride o'er the plain upon the swelling breeze, 
And in a momentary brightness blend 

Walls, towers, and flooded fields, and leafless trees ; 
Lights of such glory as may not be seen 
In the deep northern vales and mountains green. 

in. 
Coy city, that dost swathe thy summer self 

In willow lines and elmy avenue, 
Each Winter comes, and brings some hidden pelf, 

Buttress or Cross or gable out to view : 
While his thiu sunlight frugal lustre sheds 
On the straight streams and yellow osier beds. 



But thy main glory is that winter wood, 

With its dead fern and hold's Christmas green, 
And mosses pale, and trees that have not strewed 



154 OXFORD IN WINTER. 

Their withered" leaves, which yet perchance are seen 
Struggling to reach the spring, as though for them 
New sap would rise from out the grateful stem. 

v. 

A wood in winter is a goodly sight, 

With branch and trunk and whitely-withered weed : 
Chiefly a wood like this, where many a night 

In Stuart times the cavalier's fast steed 
Spurned the dry leaves through all the rustling copse, 
And waked the cushat in the oak-tree tops. 

VI. 

O Bagley ! thou art fair at break of day, 

When freshest incense breathes from waking flowers, 
Fair when the songless noon hath come to lay 

Her spell of sylvan silence on thy bowers ; 
But night is thine enchantment, magic night, 
When all is vast, and strange, and dusky bright : 

VII. 

The winter night, when, as a welcome boon, 

Down giant stems the stealthy beams may glide, 

And the stray sheep lie sleeping in the moon, 
With their own fairy shadows at their side ; 

While through the frosty night-air every tower 

In Abingdon and Oxford tolls the hour. 

VIII. 
Yea, on a poet's word, good men should go, 

And up and down thy lurking valleys climb ; 
Thy faded woodlands, thy fair withered show, 

Are sweet to see ; and at cathedral time 
'Tis sweet on some wild afrernoon to hear, 
Far off, those loud complaining bells brought near. 



ST. MARY'S AT NIGHT. 155 

IX. 

They may have sadness, too, whene'er the wind 
Keeps moaning here and there about the woods ; 

And fear may track their homeward steps behind 
Along the moated pmth and reedy floods ; 

For in the stream the moon's white image rides, 

And, as they change, she also changeth sides. 

x. 

Why is it, city of all seasons ! why 

So few have homes where there are homes so fair ? 
They come and go : it is thy destiny, 

Which for its very greatness thou must bear, 
To be a nation's heart, thou city dear ! 
Sending the young blood from thee every year. 



XVIII. 

ST. MARY'S AT NIGHT, 
i. 

DEAR Mother ! at whose angel-guarded shrine 
The faithful sought of old their daily Bread, 
How full thou art of impulses divine, 

And memories deep and dread ! 

II. 

Steeped in the shades of night thou art unseen, 

All save thy fretted tower, and airy spire 
That travels upward to yon blue serene, 
Like a mighty altar-fire ; 



156 ST. MARY'S AT NIGHT. 

in. 

For wavy streams of moonlight creep and move 
Through little arches and o'er sculptures rare, 
So lifelike one might deem that Angels love 
To come and cluster there. 

IV. 

Oh ! it is well that thou to us shouldst be 

Like the mysterious bush, engirt with flame, 
Yet unconsumed, as she that gifted thee 
With her high virgin name ; 

v. 

And like the Church, that hath for ages stood 
Within the world, and always been on fire ; 
Albeit her hidden scent, like cedar-wood, 
Smells sweetest on the pyre. 

VI. 

i 
The city sleeps around thee, save the few 

That keep sad vigil, with their spirits bare, 
As Gideon's fleece, to catch the cold fresh dew 
That falls on midnight prayer. 

VII. 

Why doth thy lonely tower tell forth the time, 

When men nor heed nor hear the warning sound ? 
Why waste the solemn music of thy chime 
On hearts in slumber bound ? 

vni. 

It is because thou art a church, to tell 

How fast the end of all things comes along, 
And, though men hear thee not, thy voice doth swell 
Each night more clear and strong : 



COLLEGE CHAPEL. 157 

IX. 

Content the few that watch should hear, and feel 

Secure their Mother doth not, cannot sleep ; 
And, as they hear, the gracious dew doth steal 
Into their soul more deep. 

x. 

Or some young heart, that hath been kept awake 

By chance or by his guardian Angel's skill, 
Some serious thoughts unto himself may take 
From "sounds so dread and still. 

XI. 

If there be none to hear, no hymn of praise, 

Or voice of prayer, to join thy chant be given, 
There is no sleep above, and thou mayest raise 
Thy patient chimes to Heaven. 



XIX. 

COLLEGE CHAPEL. 

A SHADY seat by some cool mossy spring, 
Where solemn trees close round, and make a gloom, 
And faint and earthy smells, as from a tomb, 
Unworldly thoughts and quiet wishes bring : 
Such hast thou been to me each morn and eve ; 
Best loved when most thy call did interfere 
With schemes of toil or pleasure, that deceive 
And cheat young hearts; for then thou mad'st me feel 
The holy church more nigh, a thing to fear. 
Sometimes,all day with books, thoughts proud and wild 



158 COLLEGE GARDEN. 

Have risen, until I saw the sunbeams steal 
Through painted glass at evensong, and weave 
* Their threefold tints upon the marble near, 
Faith, prayer, and love, the spirit of a child ! 



XX. 
COLLEGE HALL. 

STILL may the spirit of the ancient days 
Rest on our feasts, nor self-indulgence strive, 
Nor languid softness, to invade the rule, 
Manly, severe, and chaste the hardy school 
Wherein our mighty fathers learnt to raise 
Their souls to Heaven, and virtue best could thrive. 
Still may the brazen Eagle, that of yore 
Our fathers placed in each scholastic Hall, 
Utter its words of wisdom, and recall 
Our thoughts of God, while some old Father's lore, 
Or Martyr's roll, may sober our repast, 
Blunting so gently sensual thoughts that rise 
E'en from God's gifts, and love, with downcast eyes, 
In silence grows, at feast as well as fast. 



XXI. 

COLLEGE GARDEN. 



SACRED to early morn and evening hours, 

Another chapel reared for other prayers, 

And full of gifts, smells after noon-day showers, 



COLLEGE LIBRARY. 159 

When bright-eyed birds look out from leafy bowers, 

And natural perfumes shed on midnight airs, 

And bells and old church-clocks and holy towers, 

All heavenly images that cluster round. 

The rose, and pink acacia, and green vine 

Over the fretted wall together twine, 

With creepers fair and many, woven up, 

When autumn conies, into a tapestry, 

Richly discolored, and inlaid for me 

With golden thoughts, drunk from the dewy cup 

Of morns and evenings spent in that dear ground ! 



XXII. 
COLLEGE LIBRARY. 

A CHURCHYARD with a cloister running round 

And quaint old effigies in act of prayer, 

And painted banners mouldering strangely there 

Where mitred prelates and grave doctors sleep, 

Memorials of a consecrated ground ! 

Such is this antique room, a haunted place 

Where dead men's spirits come, and angels keep 

Long hours of watch with wings in silence furled. 

Early and late have I kept vigil here : 

And I have seen the moonlight shadows trace 

Dim glories on the missal's blue and gold, 

The work of my scholastic sires, that told 

Of quiet ages men call dark and drear, 

For Faith's soft light is darkness to the world. 



160 ABSENCE FROM OXFORD. 



XXIII. 

1. ABSENCE FROM OXFORD. 

FAIR City ! that so long hast been my home ! 
When from thy quiet places I depart 
By far-off hills and river banks to roam, 
I bear thy name about upon my heart. 
City of glorious towers ! whene'er I feel 
The world's rude coldness o'er my spirit steal, 
Then dost thou rise to view ; thine elmy groves 
Vocal with hymns of praise, thine old grey halls, 
Where the wan sun of autumn sweetest falls, 
Yon hill-side wood the nightingale so loves, 
Thy rivers twain, of gentle foot, that pass, 
Fed from a hundred willow-girded wells, 
Through the rich meadowlands of long green grass, 
To the loud tunes of all thy convent-bells ! 



XXIV. 
2. ABSENCE FROM OXFORD. 

THUS have I carried thee all England through, 

A resting-place for my world-wearied eye, 

The sunset spot in this dull evening sky, 

The streak of gold that bounds the twilight view ! 

And I have felt far off in many an hour 

That absent city's soul-restraining power, 

Like scents from Eden freighted with a charm 



THE BEGINNING OF TERM. 161 

For tearful eyes and foreheads Avorn and pale. 
As he who dvvell^ upon some moorland farm, 
Far in the windings of a mountain-vale, 
Feels that he is not lonely, when at even 
He journeys homeward from his toil, and sees 
The distant village from among the trees, 
Breathing its faint blue curls of smoke to heaven. 



XXV. 

THE BEGINNING OF TERM. 

DEAR City ! far in hollow hills, 

And kept awake by flooded rills, 

This night I hear the many feet 

That pace thy steeple-shadowed street, 

The tide of youth in merry going 

Beneath the college windows flowing : 

And strange, most strange it seems to me 

At such an hour far off to be. 

I miss the evening thronged with greeting, 

The tumult of the autumnal meeting, 

When every face is fresh of hue, 

As though its life began anew. 

I almost wonder not to hear 

Some chosen voices speaking near. 

My very hand the air doth grasp 

In pressure kind or burning clasp : 

While with a pleasant, solemn strain 

The chapel bell wakes up again. 

And still to my believing eyes 

St. Mary's shadow seems to rise, 

11 



162 THE BEGINNING OF TEEM. 

All gently cast o'er every sense 
With its old wonted influence, 
Wherewith it hallowed many a night 
My ramblings in the cold moonlight ; 
And thrills of joy and thoughts of good 
Were deepened by its neighborhood. 

And is it well that I should stand 
Apart in this sweet mountain-land ? 
Oh ! is it well that I should be 
Away from cares that chasten me, 
Away from men whose pattern still 
Could shame me out of weak self-will, 
Away from warnings which could bless 
And nurture me in holiness? 
And is it not a wilful loss 
To be unburdened of a Cross ? 
And in the life which I am living 
Is there no fountain of misgiving ? 
Yet, ere I left, the path did seem 
Clear as a steady, shining beam ; 
And to my vision there were leadings, 
And in my spirit there were pleadings, 
Which were impressed upon my sense 
As very seals of Providence. 
Ah ! in a hundred little things, 
Like wavings of an Angel's wings, 
Far gleamy .lights, dim beckonings, 
Methought it was in mercy given" 
To trace the guiding thread of Heaven. 

But now my doubting spirit fails, 
And from past faults a mist exhales, 
Clouding the radiant track which showed, 
As then I deemed, the heavenly road. 



CUEIST-CHURCH MEADOW. 163 

And every stone, whereon I thought 
Some lustrous token had been wrought, 
Some bright inscription, surely given 
For faith's interpreting from Heaven, 
Though carved with broken letters still, 
Appears the work of past self-will. 
What did as Angel's foot-prints gleam, 
Unholy imitations seem ; 
And signs, which have not changed, display 
Their characters another way, 
And every fact the mind can bring 
Confirms the new interpreting. 
Oh Brother ! when thou fain wouldst range 
From place to place, from change to change, 
Take not for heavenly light the glow 
Self-will can o'er the prospect throw. 
Sin is a prophet, who can cast 
Unerring light upon the past, 
But on the future makes to shine 
False sparkles which appear divine. 



XXVI. 
CHRIST-CHURCH MEADOW. 

ERE Advent bells the Church are calling 
% Her Bridegroom to discover, 
Or autumn's fast and silent falling 

Of her sere leaves is over, 
In joyous gloom and saddest mirth 
We turn our thronging thoughts from earth, 

And stay our pilgrim feet, 



164 CHRIST-CHURCH MEADOW. 

Two days by Shrine and Porch to wait 
All Saints and Souls to celebrate 

With calmest honors meet. 
One day, the college chapel ended, 

All pagan books I put away 

In sign of Christian holy-day, 
And through the sunny streets I wended. 
I walked within a meadow, where 
The willow tops were burnished fair 
AVith cold November's windy gleams, 
And watched two green and earthy streams 
Along the white frost-beaded grass 
With their leaf-laden waters pass. 
And bright rose the towers 
Through the half-stripped bowers, 

And the sun on the windows danced : 
The churches looked white 
In the morning light, 

And the gilded crosses glanced. 
Methought as I gazed on yon holy pile, 
Statue and moulding and buttress bold 
Seemed pencilled with flame, and burning the while 
Like the shapes in a furnace of molten gold. 
As the fire sank down or glowed anew, 
The fretted stones of the fabric grew 
So thin that the eye might pierce them through, 
Till statue and moulding and buttress bold, 
And each well-known figure and carving old, 
Peeled off from their place in the turret hoar, 
Like the winter bark of a sycamore, 
And dropped away as the misty vest 
That morning strips from the mountain's breast : 
And as the earthly building fell, 



CHEIST-CHURCH MEADOW. % 165 

That was so old and strong, 
Clear glowed the Church Invisible 

Which had been veiled so long. 
And in the midst there rose a Mount, 

The greenest verdure showing ; 
And from the summit many a fount 

In emerald streaks was flowing, 
And each within its mossy bed, 
Most like a soft and silver thread, 

In wavy curves was glowing. 
And gathered there about a Throne, 
Raised high upon a Cloven Stone, 
A crowd of worshippers there stood, 
Like sea-side sands for multitude. 
All were in snowy vests arrayed, 
All bore a green and juicy blade 

Fresh broken from the palm ; 
All looked as though some powerful thought 
Had o'er a myriad features brought 

One fixed and breathing calm ; 
As mountains in the starry blue, 
Quiet and waiting for the dew, 
With yielding line and softened hue 

Acknowledge midnight's balm. 
A light of sun and moonbeam blent 

Was o'er those myriads thrown, 
In steady radiance from the rent 

Within the Cloven Stone. 
From north and south, from land and sea, 
Came that transfigured company, 
And East and West together safe, 
As though they did expectant wait 

For some high ritual ; 



166 CHRIST-CHURCH MEADOW. 



So noiseless were they far and near, 
One might the emerald fountains hear 
In their moss-stifled fall. 

There rose a man from out the crowd,* 
Who chanted solemnly and loud 
A recitation of all woes, 
And agonies and mortal throes, 
And tortures dire, 
By sword and fire, 

And bitter pains and monstrous things 
For torment used by savage kings ; 
And still between each word there came 

A trumpet's brazen cry, 
And from the throng a loud acclaim 

Rung through the hollow sky. 
Then from the east an Angel flew, 
In snowy garb with fringe of blue,f 
And in his arrowy flight he bore 

A wondrous Signet-Ring. 
And he charged other Angels four, 
Who then the green earth hovered o'er, 
And the dim ocean's shining shore, 

To hurt no living thing. 
And there, apart, he set a seal 
On the twelve tribes of Israel ; 
But when he to the crowd advanced, 
The sun so full and brightly glanced 

Upon their glistening dress, 
And then they waved their palms on high 
With such a rending jubilant cry, 

* Heb. xi. v. 33, and xii. to v. 7. Apoc. vii. 2. St. Matt. v. 1. 
f Numbers xv. 38. 



CHRIST-CHURCH MEADOW. 167 

And in one mighty press 
Around the man 
Together ran, 
While on the air upborne, 
A thousand skirts of waving white 
Gleamed like the flocks of cloudlets bright 
In sunny air at morn, 

So that to me 

The sparkling pageant did but seem 
All like a whitely-flashing dream 
Of silver sea. 

But now all hushed and silent grown 

Within the mystic place, 
Prostrate before the Cloven Stone 

They lie upon their face. 
And, like still waters, from the rent 
A Voice, once heard on earth, was sent 

Unto the mountain side ; 
Nine times It rose, nine times It fell, 
Nine times in blessing did It swell, 

And without echo died. 
Now through the wavy rings of fire 
Uprose the sweet transparent spire 

A visionary thing ; 
Then mid the uncertain silvery flood 
Half vision and half building stood 

In the sunlight quivering ; 
Then on the turrets' fretted face 
Each statue grew in its old place, 
And through some leafless branches near, 
I saw, with hand like burnished spear, 
The dial of the clock appear, 



168 ALL SAINTS' DAY. 

And in a keen November gilding 
St. Mary's stood, an earthly building. 

Ah ! thus at times on earth below 
The Church Invisible will glow 

Upon our mortal sight, 
And mid the rude and jangling strife 
The holy Altar's hidden life 

Breathes out in heavenly light. 
O doubting heart ! if e'er in thee, 
Temptations against faith should be, 
Make thou this day a vow with me, 
Never in keen-witted strife 
To ask or tell of Christian life ; 
Nor strive to read in wordy war 
What should be seen in prayer from far, 
Or on its viewless mission sent 
Couched in some secret Sacrament. 
For empty forms, opaque and still, 

No mirthful light are giving, 
They wait for us of backward will 
The vessels of the Church to fill 

With true ascetic living. 



XXVII. 
ALL SAINTS' DAY. 

1. 
THE GATHERING OF THE DEAD. 

THE day is cloudy ; it should be so : 

And the clouds in flocks to the eastward go ; 



ALL SAINTS' DAY. 169 

For the world may not see the glory there, 
Where Christ and His Saints are met in the air. 
There is a stir among all things round, 
Like the shock of an earthquake underground, 
And there is music in the motion, 
As soft and deep as a summer ocean. 
All things that sleep awake to-day, 
For the Cross and the crown are won ; 

The winds of spring 

Sweet songs may bring 
Through the half-unfolded leaves of May ; 

But the breeze of spring 

Hath no such thing 
As the musical sounds that run 
Where the anthem note by God is given, 

And the Martyrs sing, 

And the Angels ring 
With the cymbals of highest Heaven. 
In Heaven above, and on earth beneath , 

In the holy place where dead men sleep, 
In the silent sepulchres of death, 

Where angels over the bodies keep 
Their cheerful watch till the second breath 

Into the Christian dust shall creep 
In heights and depths and darkest caves, 
In the unlit green of the ocean waves 
In fields where battles have been fought, 
Dungeons where murders have been wrought 
The shock and thrill of life have run : 
The reign of the Holy is begun ! 
There is labor and unquietness 
In the very sands of the wilderness, 
In the place where rivers ran, 



170 ALL SAINTS' DAY. 

Where the Simoom blast 
Hath fiercely past 

O'er the midnight caravan. 
From sea to sea, from shore to shore, 
Earth travails with her dead once more. 
In one long endless filing crowd, 

Apostles, Martyrs, Saints, have gone, 
Where behind yon screen of cloud 

The Master is upon His Throne ! 

Only we are left alone ! 
Left in this waste and desert place, 

Far from our natural home ; 
Left to complete our Aveary race, 

Until His Kingdom come. 
Alas for us that cannot be 
Among that shining company ! 
But once a year with solemn hand 

The Church withdraws the veil, 
And there we see that other land, 

Far in the distance pale : 
While good church-bells are loudly ringing 

All on the earth below. 
And white-robed choii-s with angels singing, 

Where stately organs blow : 
And up and down each holy street 
Faith hears the tread of viewless feet, 
Such as in Salem walked when He 
Had gotten Himself the victory. 
So be it ever year by year, 
Until the Judge Himself be here ! 



ALL SAINTS' DAY. 171 

2. 
THE MIDDLE HOME. 

The Dead the mighty, quiet Dead ! 
Each in his moist and silent bed 

Hath laid him down to rest, 
While the freed spirit slowly fled 

Unto the Patriarch's breast. 
Perchance awhile it lingered near, 
As loth to quit its earthly bier, 
Until the funeral rite was done, 
And the Church closed upon her son. 

There is a place where spirits come, 

Beneath the shrine to live, 
A mystic place, a middle home, 

Which God to them doth give. 
What mortal fancy can disclose 
The secrets of their calm repose ? 
It is a quietness more deep 
Than deadest swoon or heaviest sleep, 
A rest all lull of waking dreams, 
Of magic sounds, and broken gleams, 

Outside the walls of heaven ; 
So near, the Souls may hear the din 
Of thousand Angel choirs within, 
And some dear prospect too may win, 

As, in the light of even, 
Long absent exiles may have seen 
The home, the woods, the orchards green, 
Wherein their childish time was spent, 
Ere on their pilgrimage they went ; 
And, as they look upon the show, 



172 ALL SAINTS' DAY. 

The thought of early love returns 

Unto the straining eye that burns 
With tears that age forbids to flow. 
It is a rest, yet torment dire, 
Repose within the lap of fire, 

Because it is God's will, 
Another life of heayenly birth, 
Which men live quicker than on earth, 

Happy, resigned, and still : 
A pardoning Father's first caress, 
A glorious penal blessedness ! 

There then outside the heavenly gate 
The souls beneath the Altar wait 
The Altar whereon Christ was laid, 
True Meat for all the living made, 

And Shelter for the Dead ! 
Their bodies are not yet like His, 
Their souls not strong enough for bliss, 

Or love unmixed with dread. 
They cannot brook the vision yet, 
Those radiant lights that never set ; 
And so the Son of Man hath thrown 
His awful Veil o'er spirits lone. 
O'ershadowed by His Flesh they lie,* 

As though behind a charmed screen, 
Hid from the piercing of the Eye 

That may not look on things unclean ! 

Say, who are those that softly glide 
Each pure and saintly soul beside, 
Like Angels, only that they bear 
More thought and sadness in their air, 
As though some stain of earth did rest 

*S. Bernard, Serm. in Fest. Omn. Sanct. 



ALL SAINTS' DAY. 173 

Its pensive weight upon their breast, 

And lodged a fearfulness within 

That could not rise from aught but sin ? 

Nor ever on their silent face 

Doth gentle mirth leave any trace, 

Save when their downcast eye doth rest 

Upon the Symbol on their breast, 

Then are their features lit the while 

With something like an earthly smile, 

As though a thought were in their heart 

Which it were rudeness to impart. 

These are the righteous works of Faith, 

Wrought in the fight with Sin and Death 

Dear shadows of each holy thing, 

The goodly fruits and flowers that spring 

From the rich Tree of Life ; 
Alms-deeds, and praise, and vigils past 
In penitential prayer and fast,- 
Boldness in faith, and wrongs forgiven, 
And self-denying toils for heaven, 

And gentleness in strife. 
These follow all the souls that come 
Unto theii rest and middle home ; 
And by their sides for ever stay 
To witness at the solemn day, 
In fear as nigher still and nigher 
Through the thin veils of cleansing fire, 
They see the angels from above 
Descend upon their tasks of love 

The spirits to release, 
To bear them to that Vision bright, 
That throne in whose tremendous sight 
The soul shall find eternal light 

And everlasting peace. 



174 THE STORM IS PAST. 



XXVIII. 

THE STORM IS PAST, 
i. 

THE storm is past : the green hill-side 
Is streaked with evening gleams, 

Let out through rents in yon dark cloud, 
Day's last and loveliest beams. 

n. 

Still clings the tempest's fleecy skirt 
Round Fairfield's hollow crest, 

Where glorious mists in many a fold 
Of wavy silver rest. 

in. 
Deep imaged in the lake serene 

The shadowy mountains lie : 
Deeper than heaven itself the blue 

Of that unreal sky. 

IV. 

Oh ! soft falls evening on the heart 

With gnawing cares deprest, 
Feeding on all her quiet things, 

A Sacrament of rest ! 

v. 

Sin-blighted though we are yet still 

Upon our weary souls, 
Through hills and woods, through lakes and 
streams, 

A tide of glory rolls : 



'TIS WHEN WE SUFFER. 175 

VI. 
A brimming tide from heaven that flows 

Of freshness and of power, 
And holy strength to nerve the heart 

For duty's sterner hour. 



XXIX. 
'TIS WHEN WE SUFFER. 

i. 

Tis when we suffer gentlest thoughts 

Within the bosom spring : 
Ah ! who shall say that pain is not 

A most unselfish thing ? 

n. 

Long ere I knew thee, men had said 

That I must be thy friend, 
While thou by Itchin's grassy bank 

Thy summer hours did spend. 

in. 
So it came natural to me 

To have thee for my brother : 
And more and more each passing day 

We grow into each other. 

IV. 

And I have looked upon thee now 

With gaze so long and true, 
That all things near and round thee seem 

Touched with the selfsame hue. 



176 'TIS WHEN WE SUFFER. 

V. 

My very love for thy dear sake 

Runs out on every side, 
And joys with liberal waste to find 

Its idols multiplied. 

VI. 

To charm my pain, soft thoughts of thee 
Doth willing memory bring, 

Fragrant as is the leafy smell 
Of rain-washed woods in spring. 

VII. 

Yes thou hast thrown on me once more 

My boyhood's living glow, 
And tears and smiles and childish joys 

From their old fountains flow. 

VIII. 

Unlike, and yet how like, two wills 
That mould so passing well, 

As waves that meet and make a calm 
Caught by each other's spell. 

IX. 

Each by its brother's heart delays 
To learn its mystic motion, 

Blends ac it listens, and forgets 
All the wild heaving ocean. 

x. 

Old age, what is it but a name 
For burning love departed ? 

We two shall be for ever boys, 
If we are loyal-hearted. 






THE HOLY ANGELS. 177 



XXX. 

THE HOLY ANGELS. 



ANGELS and Thrones and holy Powers 

And Ministers of light 
God's primal sons and mystic bunds 

In various orders bright, 
And hidden Splendors wheeling round 

In circles infinite 

ii. 

Celestial priests and seraph kings 

In links of glory twine : 
And spirits of departed men 

In saintly lustre shine, 
With Angels dear that fold their wings 

Above the awful Shrine 

in. 

Chariots of living flame that fill 
The mountain's hollow side, 

Breezes that to the battle-field 
Over the forest ride, 

Spirits that from the Bridegroom come 
To wait upon the Bride 

IV. 

These are among us and around 

In earth and sea and air, 
At fast and feast and holy rite 
12 



178 THE HOLY ANGELS. 

And lonely vigil prayer, 
Morning and noon and dead of night 
Crowding the heavenly stair. 

v. 

In solemn hours and paths remote, 
Where worldly sounds are still, 

There comes to us from Spirits nigh 
A contact pure and chill, 

A touch that to the inmost sense 
Runs with unearthly thrill. 

VI. 

Yet man will deem himself alone 

That earth so fair and wide 
Was made for him to have unshared 

His glory and his pride, 
That he alone, supreme below, 

To Heaven should be allied. 

VII. 

And wouldst thou grudge, poor selfish heart, 

To share thy lonely sway, 
And scorn the visitants that come 

On earth with thee to stay 
The Beings meek and beautiful 

That follow on thy way ? 

vm. 
There's many a lake to Heaven looks up 

With bright and earnest eye 
Upon the solitary tops 

Of mountains steep and high, 
And many a plant and flower that bloom 

Where man was never nigh. 



THE LIFE OF THE LIVING. 179 

IX. 

All day and night the lovely clouds 

In curious shapes are blending, 
And colored lights through forest bowers 

Are every hour descending, 
Where none are by but Angel forms, 

God's glorious road attending. 

x. 

Oh ! well it is that they for love 

Of man's cold heart are weeping : 
And it shall please me, Lord ! to think, 

While my dull eyes are sleeping, 
Angels for Thine eternal praise 

Eternal watch are keeping ! 



XXXI. 
THE LIFE OF THE LIVING. 

THE whole world lies beneath a spell 

A charm of dreadest power 
And life hath some new miracle 

Worked for it every hour. 
Hast thou ever been on a misty night 

In a deep and solemn dale, 
When the firs, like spirits, stand upright 

In a soft, transparent veil, 
While the moon with rings of muffled light 

Hath girdled her chariot pale ? 
Hast thou ever sat on a mountain-brow 
When the sun was bright and the wind was low, 



180 THE LIFE OF THE LIVING. 

And gazed on the groups of silent wood 
That hang by the brink of a crystal flood, 
When the wind starts up from his hidden lair, 

Like a thing refreshed by sleep, 
On the scene so summer-like and fair, 

And the quietness so deep ? 
The far-off pass and the broken fell 
With a hoarse and hollow murmur swell 

As the giant rides along : 
He comes with sceptre bare to break 
The pageant mirrored in the lake ; 
And the whole forest depths to shake 

With fury loud and strong. 
He hath bent the poplar as he past, 
As the tempest bends the tall ship-mast ; 
He hath twisted the boughs of the lofty ash, 
And the old oak moaned beneath his lash. 
/ And yet to thee like some strange dream 
The wild winds savage sport doth seem, 
For thou art still on thy mountain brow, 
With the sun all bright and the wind all low ! 

Ah ! such at best is this weak life, 
A mournful and mysterious strife, 
Where each man to his neighbor seems 
Like the stirring forms in motley dreams ; 
And shado\vs fall from cloudless skies, 

And lights in darkness gleam, 
And endless are the mysteries 

Of this unbroken dream. 
And we gaze as dreamers have done of yore 
On a sight they think they have seen before ; 
And the far-off hills, and the neighboring woods 



THE LIFE OF THE LIVING. 181 

And the gleaming pools of the winding floods 
Are blent in the sunset's misty hue, 
When color and distance are both untrue. 

To the eye of mortal it may not be 

To look on his own soul, 
But like a dim half-hidden sea 

Before him it doth roll. 
It is green as the green earth's sunny grass, 

It is blue as the bluest sky ; 
It is black as night when the tempests pass, 

And the snow-white sea-birds cry. 
The weary billow hath no soft sleeps, 
For its color and change are given 
Not from the heart of its beating deeps, 
But they fall from the face of heaven. 
When the day is fair, and the gale at sleep, 

There are marvellous things that lie 
Full many and many a fathom deep, 
Moving and resting uncertainly : 
Things tinted, dark, and bright, 
Brave jewels seen, 
Through the solid green, 
Gleaming and giving light. 
And after the storm, when the summer calm. 
Drops down on the sea like a holy charm, 
When the clouds on high 

Float quietly, 

Like Angels winnowing by, 
We see by the dawn that the furrowed shore 
With broken things is strewn all o'er, 
From the hollow ocean brought ; 
Quaint carved works man never wrought, 



182 THE MOUNTAINS. 

And plants earth never bore, 
New metals torn from their ancient bed, 
And the wave-bleached bones of the unknown dead. 

Can the beach that we scan 

Be the Soul of Man 
With the wrecks of its childhood's being 

With the tokens dread 

That the life which is fled 
Is blent with the life that is fleeing ? 



XXXII. 

THE MOUNTAINS. 

" Their gods are gods of the hills ; therefore they have overcome us.' 
Ill KINGS, xx. 23. 

LET none but priests or lowly men draw nigh 
Unto the lofty mountains, to invade 
The awful sanctuary God hath built 
Upon their desert sides. There was a time, 
Ere the unholy stain of blood had flushed 
The sunny green of the young virgin earth, 
When He did walk with men in shady bowers 
And innocent gardens. But when sin grew bold, 
The jealous God withdrew unto the hills : 
And the bright mists that moved upon the plain, 
To gladden and keep fresh the heart of earth, 
Were gathered up to Him, and hung in folds 
Of glorious cloud before His mountain Throne : 
And everlasting barrenness was bid 
To take the hills unto itself, that He 
Might have a solitude wherein to dwell. 



THE MOUNTAINS. 183 

Behold how He hath gifted this His stern 
And sacred dwelling-place. Tempests and storms 
And the mysterious voices of loud winds, 
A thousand lights of beauty, so intense 
They make men weep for love of them, and shades 
That move obedient to conceal from us 
The path of some dear Angel, and o'er all 
Bridges of rainbow thrown from peak to peak 
In mystic arches, signs of covenant : 
These are His gifts unto the mighty hills. 
And the blue skies are bid by Him to stoop 
Unto the mountain-top, that earth may blend 
With Heaven ; and alway from their cloven sides 
The music of ten thousand springs is heard, 
Gushing with water holiest element, 
Wherein the power of our New Birth is laid : 
Fed ever from the dews of Heaven that fall 
When night is coldest ; and free liberal airs 
That roam about the mountains, and that come 
We know not whence, move o'er the pool unseen, 
Like the pure Dove who broods above the Font. 
Fresh are those sources, though no shade is nigh, 
Fresh as the wells that stand in natural rock 
In summer woods or violet-scented grove, 
With lowly flowers all round, and forest-breaths 
Just come to dimple their still surfaces, 
And now and then to scatter the frail leaves 
From off the briar-rose that hangs above. 

And here and there, far in the lonely glens, 
Huge memory-peopled forests stretch along ; 
Amid whose glorious tangled aisles, and choirs 
Closed in with leafy pinnacles, and shafts 
Of tall light trees down which the sunbeam plays, 






184 THE MOUNTAINS. 

Our holy sires were taught by God to build 

Their venerable Churches, so that He 

Might come once more from the eternal hills 

To dwell by shrines that mortal hands had reared, 

Albeit the pattern of the Holy Place 

Was shown them on the mountain's wooded side. 

On the high places of the Holy Church, 
Strongholds of prayer and lonely steeps of faith, 
Lay the first lights of hope, when all around 
Was dark and dreary tumult. Savage wastes 
Of black and angry waters rolled along. 
But the strong breath of Him who brooded once 
Upon the shapeless seas, closed up the skies 
And sealed the fountains of the bursting deep. 
AVhen Noe from his single lattice gazed, 
The watery gleams of the returning sun 
Smiled sadly on the mountain-peaks that rose, 
Like islands of the Blest, happy and green. 
Unto a mountain-top by impulse drawn, 
On Ararat the weary Ark reposed, 
Safe anchored there within the rocky veil, 
Now muffled by long centuries of snow. 
Then were the shades dispelled, and earth was free, 
And Stars and Angels shouted round the Throne, 
And the victorious Sun broke from the East 
Into the sky, beneath a glorious arch 
Wreathed with triumphal colors, and the Earth 
Sent up a steam of odorous sacrifice 
Unto the Threefold Majesty in Heaven ! 

These are the marvels that of right belong 
Unto the mountains. So it came to pass 
The children of the old dark faiths went up 
To worship there, and lit their altar fires 



THE MOUNTAINS. 

Upon the even cone of some green hill, 

Whose very shape seemed pregnant to their eyes 

With an unwonted presence, or dim trace 

Of Him they sought. Alas ! they little knew 

Whence their blind worship came, what Angel forms 

Went often with them to the bleak hill-tops. 

And so the spiritual Persian climbed 

The lofty steep, to feel his God diffused 

In the unbounded blue that was around, 

As though the mountain-wind, that did embrace 

Himself and all, had been the breath of God ! 

Oh ! come then to these gifted Altars, come ! 
They will unteach thee pride, and gird thee round 
With types and mysteries of things above, 
And wrap thy spirit up in many a fold 
Of awful visions. Come and wander now 
Among their solemn passes, far withdrawn 
From every sound except the waterfall, 
And eagle's voice, high up among the clouds 
Wondrous as that dread bird that waited once 
In Patmos, when the saintly exile saw 
The holy Church pass on from east to west, 
Like the bright moon, through shadows manifold. 

How fixed and calm they look ! Yet on their sides, 
Whether by stream or flame impressed, fierce scars 
And ragged seams are left as if to tell 
Of revolutions past, upheaval slow, 
And secular subsidence, and deep grooves 
Worn by the ancient glacier on its road, 
Like furrows on brave faces made by pain, 
The lines of earth's old age. They make the hills 
Look old and hoary, and yet not the less 
Unchangeable : as if they meant to show 



186 THE MOUNTAINS. 

That changes, which efface men's works and ways, 
Can only wear God's footprints deeper in, 
For fire and flood are but His chariot- wheels. 

Behold the heights man's foot hath never trod ! 
A cloud of prophecy hangs densely there. 
In ancient days the Spirit dwelt in hearts 
That knew His presence : in these later times 
Men prophesy, and know it not ; they strew 
The precious treasure up and down, like leaves, 
And the wise winds, which are God's Spirit, take 
And gather them for Him, they are not lost. 
Thus from all seers, both new and old, like clouds 
Drifting in little flocks on autumn days 
To one dark treasure-house of storm, each year 
The weight of prophecy doth grow, and men 
Behold its varying outline, bright and dark, 
And watch its swelling form with awe, as though 
It could no more contain the living fire 
Which hath already shone in palest gleams 
Through many a rent and at each radiant fringe. 

Come, then, unto the mountains sit with me 
Among this spotted fern ; for God's decrees 
Are wrapped about them like a mantle : they, 
Whom He foreknew, perchance may lift the veil, 
And see His depths within the blessed light 
Which kindles love and yet doth not increase 
Our knowledge. Come, then, to this trickling spring, 
It will remind thee of thy morning dew. 
Let the huge mountains throw their rugged arms 
Around thee, while their virtue goeth out 
Into thy heart with hidden sacraments ! 



THE PIC-NIC. 187 



XXXIII. 
THE PIC-NIC. 

i. 

A LADY a party of pleasure made, 

And she planned her scheme right well 

And early and late this party filled 
The head of the demoiselle. 

ii. 
It rained all day and it rained all night, 

It rained when morning broke, 
It rained when the maiden went to sleep, 

And it rained when she awoke. 

in. 

Peevish and fretful the maiden grew, 
When the hour of noon was gone ; 

But the merry clouds knew nothirg of that, 
And the rain kept pouring on. 

IV. 

The weather has got no business with us, 
And we have none with the weather, 

And temper and weather are different things, 
But they always go together. 

v. 

Oh ! anger and beauty, my lady dear, 

Will never agree to share 
That little white brow that lifts its arch 

Through the parting of thy hair. 



188 MY GODSON'S BAPTISM. 

VI. 

The mists are strewn all over the hills, 
And the valleys are ringing with floods, 

And the heavy drops on the flat broad leaves 
Are making strange sounds in the woods. 

VII. 

Angels are round thee and Heaven's above, 

And thy soul is alive within ; 
Shall a rainy day and a cloudy sky 

Make a Christian heart to sin ? 

VIII. 

O wait for the sunset's dusky gold 
On the side of yon mountain glen, 

And seek the lone seat where the foxgloves grow, 
And smile at thy folly then. 



XXXIV. 

MY GODSON'S BAPTISM. 

i. 
DEAR Christian child ! was it the power 

That in those gifted waters came, 
Which stirred thee at that solemn hour, 

And thrilled through all thy trembling frame ? 

II. 

Oh ! was it keen and fierce the smart 
When the old root within thee died, 

And the new nature in thy heart 
Rose like the swell of Ocean's tide ? 



MY GODSON'S BAPTISM. 189 

III. 

Yes in the dawn of thy new birth 

There came some spiritual fears, 
Faint gleams of after-things, that earth 

Might pay the first-fruits of her tears. 

IV. 

Sweet penitent ! all lovely things 

Are for their brightness full of fear ; 
And strange would seem those angel-wings 

That came and made soft motions near. 

v. 
And yet the Cross did hush thy cries, 

When thou within mine arms didst lie, 
Quiet and sealed for sacrifice 

Unto the Holy Trinity. 

VI. 

And such a smile sat on thy mouth, 

While from that Token's fourfold might, 

From East and West, from North and South, 
Great visions broke upon thy sight. 

VII. 

And such a look came from thine eyes 

Through lashes fringed with Christian dew 

Wonder and hope and mirth did rise 
Up from those wells of heavenly blue. 

VIII. 

Now thou art consecrate, fair thing ! 

A Church where sinners have not prayed, 
A shrine where only Angels sing, 

Another stone in Sion laid ! 



190 BIRTH-DAY THOUGHTS. 



XXXV. 

BIRTH-DAY THOUGHTS. 

June 28, 1838. 

THE FEAST OF ST. IREX.EUS. THE VIGIL OF ST. PETER. 
THE CORONATION OF QUEEN VICTORIA. 



IT was a day of mingled joys and fears 

Blending like light and shade, 
And boyish smiles with lingering sweetness played 
Through penitential tears. 

ii. 

It was a feast whereon soft memories 

Of an old saint do stay, 
Of one who came bearing the cross this way 
From his own eastern skies. 

in. 

It was the eve of a high festival 

A day of serious hours, 

For grief that one all full of gifts and powers 
So faithlessly should fall. 

IV. 

It was the day whereon a Sovereign knelt 

Before the King on high, 

And through the realm was heard one loyal cry, 
One beating heart was felt. 



BIETH-DAY THOUGHTS. 191 

V. 

And thoughtful men were startled at the sound, 

And good men fell to prayer, 
For with the glory and the pageant rare 
Shadows were gathering round. 

VI. 

There is a well, a willow-shaded spot, 

Cool in the noontide gleam, 
With rushes nodding in the little stream. 
And blue forget-me-not 

VII. 

Set in thick tufts along the bushy marge, 

Wittf big bright eyes of gold, 
Where glorious water-plants, like fans, unfold 
Their blossoms strange and large. 

VIII. 

That wandering boy, young Hylas, did not find 

Beauties so rich and rare, 

Where swallow-wort and pale bright maiden's hair 
And dog-grass greenly twined. 

IX. 

A sloping bank ran round it like a crown, 

Whereon a purple cloud, 
Of dark wild hyacinths, a fairy crowd, 
Had settled softly down. 

x. 

And dreamy sounds of never-ending bells 

From a city's ancient towers 

Came down the stream, and went among the flowers, 
And died in little swells. 



192 BIRTH-DAY THOUGHTS. 

XI. 

There did I keep my birth-day feast, with all 

These gentle things around, 
While their soft voices rising from the ground 
Unto my heart did call. 

XII. 

It is not good to be without a home, 

Young hearts should not be free : 
Yet household thoughts have long been closed to me 
Within my father's tomb. 

XIII. 

And I have roamed through places fair and good, 

Like a wild bird that drops 
To rest somewhere among the thousand tops 
Of a broad fir-wood. 

XIV. 

My love hath strewn in many a youthful breast 

Fancies of tender mould, 
And I have memories lodged among the old 
In their eternal rest. 

xv. 

Sunny and bright all earthly glories seem, 

Like an enchanter's show, 
And yet it frets me all the while to know 
That this is but a dream. 

XVI. 

I cannot burst the fetters of the spell : 

The silvery light of mirth 
Streams within me over all the earth, 
As from an endless well. 



BIRTH-DAY THOUGHTS. 193 

XVII. 
So bright of late the unsetting sun hath played, 

Its evening must be near, 
When Hope shall win fresh loveliness from fear, 

And Memory from the shade. 

XVIII. 

Still by old hills or abbey's ruined shrine 

Shall love my footsteps bring 
Dear homes, where friendship set me gathering 
These wild-flower thoughts of mine. 



XXXVI. 

BIRTH-DAY THOUGHTS. 

At a Grave in Somersetshire, 1839. 

IF in the years of my most wandering youth 
Some few untended plants have learned to flower, 
Thine was the mercy, Lord ! and Thine the power 
That sowed and kept alive the seeds of Truth. 
Father and earthly mother I have none, 
Sweet bride nor marriage-home, nor children here, 
Nor looks of love but Thine, my Saviour dear ! 
And my young heart bears ill to live alone. 
So to the wild and weedy grave I come 
Of this meek man of heart, who bore the Cross, 
Hid in a lordly crosier, to his home, 
And for Thy love did count all else but loss. 
Long as my life may be, teach me like him 
To follow Thee by pathways lone and dim. 
Better they should be lonely better far 
The world should be all dark ; so through the night 
13 



194 A LESSON FROM THE FERNS. 

And with fresh tears to multiply the light, 
Mine eyes mighTsee thy pale and single star. 
Yet, Lord ! 'tis hard when evening shadows come, 
To have no sight or sound of earthly cheer : 
Still were my faith but strong, Thou wouldst be near 
And I in my pure thoughts might find a home: 
And memory too might hear her d ad loves pour, 
Soft as the songs of some shy hidden bird 
From the low fields or woodlands nightly heard, 
Sweet peaceful music on the evening hour. 
O shame on me to fear the Cross should press 
Too hard in firm and thoughtful loneliness ! 



XXXVII. 

A LESSON FROM THE FERNS. 
i. 

DEAR Friend ! I have a dread and glorious home, 

Just where two inland rivers gently meet, 
And the young Cherwell's haunted waters come, 
Isis, their queen, to greet. 

n. 
Far in the woodland heart of this green isle 

To their own banks those streams are tinkling now, 
Where many an ancient church and gorgeous pile 
Throng in to hear them flow. 

in. 
But I have yet another home as fair, 

Though my sweet southern streams are far away, 
And two wild mountain rills are meeting there. 
As musical as they. 



A LESSON FROM THE FERNS. 195 

IV. 

And are there not Church thoughts and feelings here, 

Scattered, like flowers, on Loughrigg's sunny side, 
And hopes to bless and memories to cheer 
Where Rothay's waters glide ? 

v. 

Yes by a hundred streamlets' wayward turns 

My heart hath spent some hours of Sunday rest, 
And watched those pastoral things the young green ferns, 
Unbend from earth's cold breast. 

VI. 

Oh ! for thine own dear sake those things shall be 

Marvellous types and symbols of my vow, 
And with their lessons dread soft love for thee 
Shall mingle fondly now. 

VII. 

Often shall they in hours of pensive thought 
Give up the secret charms that in them lie, 
And all thy sacred image shall be brought 
To fancy's yearning eye : 

VIII. 

The light, the power, the unsettled fires that play 

Among the sleepless glancings of thine eyes, 
Thy thoughts and things of beauty, which betray 
The heart from whence they rise. 

IX. 

If in4,hy spring the gems of Heaven be set, 

Like spotted fern-flowers in their first pale green, 
Oh ! shade them from the too bright world, nor let 
Their fragile bloom be seen. 



196 A DREAM. 

X. 

So shall the gifted suns of summer-tide 

Their hidden power and loveliness unfold, 
And he, that loves thee, with a lawful pride, 
Shall mark their autumn gold ! 



XXXVIII. 

A DREAM AFTER AN ARGUMENT WITH A 
FRIEND. 

I LEFT thee when the midnight bell had tolled, 

Full of fresh views and reasons: in thine eyes 

All night perpetual meanings did unfold 

Quick turns of thought and kindling sympathies. 

Still those blue eyes looked at me through my sleep, 

Changed by the power of dreams to fearful things. 

They bore me far away, where evening flings 

Her gorgeous blue on Atlas : they did sweep 

Into the bluer sky, where comets blaze, 

And golden creatures live in starry rays. 

Onward they went where filmy mist-wreaths creep 

About the rolling moon ; and fell with me 

In the translucent caverns of the sea, 

Where sunset takes the ghosts of sunken days. 



XXXIX. 



KESWICK, August 3, 1838. 






I KNEW three sisters, who by haunted rills 
And hill-side places gathered rarest flowers ; 
But, when apart, and in their lonely hours, 



A DKEAM. 197 

The brightest things that bloomed'upon the hills 
Were dull : for love alone the spell hath given 
Unto the green of earth, the blue of heaven ! 
It is the law for air: few men can think 
Save in another's heart : yea, few can drink 
Of their own fountains but in others' eyes, 
When they can see themselves reflected there 
With an ideal beauty ; and can rise, 
Like a freed slave, with spirit keen and bare 
From the damp cells and weary bonds of sin, 
Which, but for love, would fetter them within. 



XL. 

KESWICK, August 3, 1838. 

SOME fall in love with voices, some with eyes, 
Some men are linked together by a tear ; 
Others by smiles ; many who cannot tell 
What time the spirit passed who left the spell. 
It comes to us among the winds that rise 
Scattering their gifts on all things far and near. 
The fields of unripe corn, the mountain lake, 
And the great-hearted sea all objects take 
Their glory and their witchery from winds : 
All save the few black pools the woodman finds 
Far in the depths of some unsunny place, 
Which stand, albeit the happy winds are out 
In all the tossing branches round about, 
As silent and as fearful as a dead man's face. 



198 CASTLE-HILL, KESWICK. 



XLI. 
CASTLE-HILL, KESWICK. 

" We put the sun to bed with our talk." 

Greek Anthology. 
I. 

COME let us gather here upon the hill 

The noble hearts that yet beat pure and high, 

And, while the lake beneath our feet is still, 
Sweetly our speech may run on chivalry, 

And feats of arms, and old crusading days, 

And tourneys bright, and minstrel's generous praise. 

n. 

For we have mourned o'er many a lonely place 
And moorland village with a knightly name, 

And we have loved with wise regrets to trace 
The still unfaded relics of their fame. 

Yon sun that sinks o'er Solway's distant bay 

Sets not more proud and glorious than they. 

in. 
Oh, then, while round Blencathra's haunted crest 

The purple folds of summer twilight wind, 
Spirits of feudal memory here shall rest 

With spells of dearest awje upon my mind ; 
And there shall ride full gallantly and fast 
Pageants and shades of that romantic past ! 

IV. 

Sweet to the brow the wind of evening blows, 

Sweet to the sight are evening's golden gleams, 
Sweetest of all are they where Greta flows, 



; CASTLE-HILL, KESWICK. 199 

And Glenderaterra, and the nameless streams, 
Lonely and beautiful, where summer day 
Fades o'er yon Cumbrian mountain far away. 

v. 

The clouds that build wild structures up on high 
Shall mould themselves to some baronial hall, 

And the stray mist that wanders loosely by 
Be changed to a gigantic seneschal ; 

The wind that o'er the battlements doth float 

Shall sound from thence an elfin warder's note. 

VI. 

But, when the last pale glow is on the heights, 
The dream may shift unto a maiden's bower, 

Where every lattice shines with festal lights, 
And crimson pennons wave on every tower, 

Where ladies welcome back their knights again 

From the far hunting-field or battle-plain. 

VII. 

And by my side the page of Monstrelet 
With all its lifelike forms shall be unrolled, 

And he, with eye undimmed and hair of gray, 
The chivalrous old Canon, shall unfold, 

As in my boyish hours, his own dear lore, 

Bright with the tints that shone in times of yore. 

vm. 

Oh, in his boyhood's best and purest days 

Who hath not gathered round old Froissart's knee 

Like children round a father, in whose lays 

Strange things were told with quaint and earnest glee, 

Prizing each year his well-known strains the more, 

When we have heard them ten times told before ? 



200 OX THE HEIGHTS NEAR DEVOKE WATER. 
IX. 

Come, then, and we will make a mimic tale: 
The store of legendary things that lie 

Far in the woods of many a Cumbrian vale 
Shall weave for us the mingled destiny 

Of a young knight and of a templar bold, 

In those most gorgeous Chronicles untold. 



XLIL 
FURNESS ABBEY. 

AH, Sydney ! as we journeyed toward the main, 
Visions of old Byzantium worked in thee ; 
Thy talk was of the gorgeous Osmanli : 
O how it rose like a bewildering strain 
Of oriental music paused again 
And changed unto the savage glens of pine 
Which cradled thee ! and yet the twilight power 
Of English scenes, most felt at that still hour, 
Some words of dearest rapture then could win, 
As we walked forth by Leven's tranquil side. 
Now, as thy hand is fondly clasped in mine 
In this Cistercian chapter-house, the pride 
Of native things awakes unblamed the tide 
Of English blood is rising fast within. 



XLIII. 
ON THE HEIGHTS NEAR DEVOKE WATER. 

August 7, 1838. 

DREARY and grey the twilight hour came on, 
Duddou was sounding in his wooded vale ; 



THE GROVES OF PENSHURST. 201 

And through the ferns and round each hollow stone 
The spirit of the chill night-breeze did wail. 
With low and piteous moaning did it swell, 
Like a poor ghost, upon the shaggy fell 
When, as \ve rode, the sun came round and stood 
On the hill-top an altar all of gold : 
Twisting in gorgeous coils, like a huge flood, 
The crimson steam along the valley rolled. 
Rain-drops, like gems, upon the heath were seen, 
And the whole earth was hid in golden green, 
O it was well our hearts within us quailed, 
The throne of the Eternal was unveiled ! 



XLIV. 
THE GROVES OF PENSHURST. 

THE groves of Penshurst are a haunted place ; 
There is a spirit and a presence there 
Of one departed ; and the brooding air 
Is charged with powers of old ancestral grace. 
Thou art a worthy son of that great sire : 
Though there be doubt and peril, while the fn-o 
Of youth burns in thee ! Let the cherished dread 
Of that most knightly-hearted Sydney rest, 
Like a dear master's hand upon thy breast. 
Brother! great minds are built, great souls are fed 
In steadfast discipline and silent fear. 
When from this rule thine impulse would depart, 
A voice from Sydney's tomb shall whisper near, 
And ring wild trumpet-notes within thy heart ! 



202 THREE HAPPY DAYS. 

XLV. 
THE ICONOCLAST. 

WHENCE comes this sinking heart, these failing powers? 
Something hath touched my thoughts : they have no life, 
And stir, like sickly things, iu Idle strife, 
And I am restless all these midnight hours. 
Friend ! thou hast done it : thou hast broken down 
All mine old images, and didst uncrown 
The glorious things that reigned within my heart, 
Because thou art more glorious. Times like these, 
When our whole Past is roughly set apart, 
Leaves the soul full of love, yet ill at ease. 
Yon pictured skies the sunset breeze is shaking 
From the still lake are stabler types of Heaven, 
Than the brief friendships whose loud pledge was given 
Mid the wild sport of moral image-breaking. 



XLVI. 
THKEE HAPPY DAYS. 



THREE happy days we had been out 

Among the awful hills, 
Learning their secrets by the sides 

Of dark, untrodden rills. 

ii. 
We had companions all the day 

Rainbows and silver gleams ; 
And quiet rivers all the night 

To mingle with our dreams. 



THREE HAPPY DAYS. 203 

III. 
We spoke of great and solemn things, 

Like earnest-minded men, 
And often rode unheedingly 

Through many a wooded glen. 

IV. 

We talked about the early Church, 

Her martyrs keen and bold, 
And what perchance might now befall 

The same dear Church grown old. 

V. 

We went into each other's hearts, 

And rifled all the treasure 
That books and thinking had laid up 

In academic leisure. 

VI. 

And now we are so wearied out 

With all this high debate, 
We have not mentioned once to-night 

The name of Church or State. 

VII. 

With sweet revenge the silver meres 

We slighted on our ride, 
With shadowy trees all glassed therein, 

Rise in us like a tide. 

VIII. 

Ah who could see us sitting thus, 

Yon mill-stream falling nigh, 
And yet gainsay the soothing bliss 

Of silent company ? 



204 STERN FRIEND. 



XLVII. 

STERN FRIEND. 

STERN Friend ! with what a passionate eloquence 

And deep voice thou didst plead, 
Till thy words cut like knives, through every sense, 

Making my heart to bleed ! 
The spirit of old times went from thee there, 

As lightning bold and keen, 
And still unhealed the seams and furrows, where 

That lightning passed, are seen. 
Alas ! it was a most unworthy dream 

That with my youth had grown, 
An earthly lure with a false winning gleam 

Of Heaven about it thrown. 
'Twas a brave thought to think that thou couldst tear 

The idol from its shrine, 
And rear a nobler, heavenlier image there 

Than that old dream of mine. 
Still, as thy hurried gesture waxed more fierce, 

My thoughts drew further in, 
Shrinking from that quick eye which seemed to pierce 

The last thin veil of sin. 
I watched thee like an abject, guilty thing, 

And wept with shame and fear, 
Whilst thou didst lay thy hand on me, and bring 

The gleaming Cross more near ; 
And my whole being quailed with agony, 

And writhed with burning smart, 
When thou didst lift its bright, sharp edge on high, 



STERN FBIEND. 205 

And plant it in my heart. 
Friend ! I am conquered now, and all my powers 

With holier impulse burn, 
And yet I dare not trust myself when hours 

Of languid ease return. 
Then do I envy wild sea-birds that float, 

And wish that we could be 
Rocking forever in a little boat 

On some blue sunny sea : 
And I would fain be dreaming, while the tide 

Of active change doth roll, 
That we at anchor and at ease might ride 

Safe in each other's soul. 
It may not be : I and my dreams must part, 

Part in the blood that flowed, 
Where the stern Cross ran deepest in my heart, 

Tearing its cruel road. 
That pool of blood shall stand for ever -there 

Where the dread Sign took root, 
So shall the Cross have plants and blossoms rare 

Grow up around its foot. 
The watch-tower steps are fallen to decay, 

Broken in every stone, 
And it is perilous to wind one's way 

To that high place alone. 
But, Avert thou with me there, the wildest night 

Would not seem dark or long ; 
And we would sing old Psalms till morning light 

Broke in upon our song. 
And should these rebel dreams of earth arise 

Against my hardy vow, 
Then shall I dread a friend that can chastise 

As faithfully as thou ! 



206 VERSES SENT TO A FRIEND. 



XLVIII. 
TO A LITTLE BOY. 

DEAR Little One, and can thy mother find 

In those soft lineaments, that move so free 

To smiles or tears, as holiest infancy 

About thy heart its glorious web doth wind, 

A faithful likeness of my sterner mind ? 

Ah ! then there must be times unknown to me 

When my lost boyhood, like a wandering air, 

Comes for a while to pass upon my face, 

Giving me back the dear familiar grace 

O'er which my mother poured her last fond prayer. 

But sin and age will rob me of this power, 

Though now my heart, like an uneasy lake, 

Some broken images at times may take 

From forms which fade more sadly every hour ! 



XLIX. 
VERSES SENT TO A FRIEND, 



WITH A BOOK. 



THE languid heart, that hath been ever nurst 

By strains of drowsy sweetness, ill can brook 
The rude rough music that at times doth burst 



A LITTLE LADY'S LITTLE ALBUM. 207 

From him whose thoughts are treasured in this book. 
It was his lot to live in days uncouth 
That shrink from aught so hard and stern as truth. 

n. 
I know my generous friend too well to fear 

This holy gift will be unsafe with thee ; 
Thou never yet hast had the heart to sneer 

At the eccentric feats of chivalry, 
And well I know there are cold men who deem 
This saintly cause a weak knight-errant's dream. 

in. 
When thou hast marked him well, thine eye will trace 

Lines deep and steadfast, features grave and bold, 
Beauty austere arid masculine, a face 

And stalwart form wrought in an antique mould ; 
And if some shades too broad and coarse be thrown, 
Tis where the age hath marred the block of stone ! 



L. 

WRITTEN IN A LITTLE LADY'S LITTLE 
ALBUM. 



Hearts good and true 

Have wishes few 
In narrow circles bounded, 

And hope that lives 

On what God gives 
Is Christian hope well founded. 



208 HEAVEN AND EARTH. 

II. 

Small things are best : 

Grief and unrest 
To rank and wealth are given ; 

But little things 

On little wings 
Bear little souls to Heaven. 



LI. 

THE MEDITERRANEAN SEA. 

OH, thou old heartless Sea, without a tide 
To bless thee with its changing ! Ah, poor Sea ! 
How idly beat thy waves, how languidly 
On Baise's piers, or Adria's level side ! 
Eternal sunset round old Greece doth play : 
All faint and wan Rome's last imperial smile 
Yet lingers in each Hellespontine bay. 
Still at his mouths the melancholy Nile 
Talks to himself of Egypt's kingly day. 
A belt of goodly towns have ruins hoar, 
Silent as tombs, on Libya's blighted shore ; 
And Venice woos her blue canals no more : 
Yet for all this no heart is in thy waves, 
Thou heavy Sea of shadows and of graves ! 



LII. 
HEAVEN AND EARTH. 

THERE are no shadows where there is no sun ; 
There is no beauty where there is no shade ; 



A FAREWELL. 209 

And all things in two lines of glory run, 

Darkness and light, ebon and gold inlaid. 

God come? among us through the shroud of air ; 

And His dim track is like the silvery wake 

Left by yon pinnace on the mountain lake, 

Fading and re-appearing here and there. 

The lamps and veils through Heaven and Earth that move 

Go in and out, as jealous of their light, 

Like sailing stars upon a misty night. 

Death is the shade of coming life ; and Love 

Yearns for her dear ones in the holy tomb, 

Because bright things are better seen in gloom. 



LIII. 
A FAREWELL. . 

Sept. 8, 1838. 
I. 

MY heart was like a wooded vale, 

Bright with a summer afternoon, 
With shades so thick the sun \vas pale 

And thin as an autumnal moon ; . 
And winds made stirs in every tree, 
Most like a far-off, quiet sea. 

ii. 

There came a cloud o'er this bright home, 
Sudden and strange ; and no one knew 
Frmn whence the omen dark had come 

When all the sky around was blue. 
The wind dropped down ; and sounds came near, 
Like thunder when the a<r is clear. 
14 



210 A CONVERSATION NEAR RYDAL. 

III. 
Still hangs that gloomy cloud above, 

Hiding the glorious sun, whose power 
Once shed romantic lights of love 

On moorland stream and forest bower, 
When all things wore a charm to me, 
Of sweetest unreality. 

IV. 

In pale and tarnished green, the trees 
Stand by yon brook in silent row ; 

Rills that made songs to every breeze 
Have lost the music of their flow : 

And wildflowers mourn the summer air 

That comes not now to wanton there. 

v. 

Ah, brother ! wouldst thou know how much 
My aching heart in thee doth live ? 

One look of thy quick eye one touch 
Of thy dear hand last night could give 

Fresh hopes to shine amid my fears, 

And thoughts that shed themselves in tears. 



LIV. 
A CONVERSATION NEAR RYDAL. 

. Sept. 8, 1838. 

I COULD have wished the few last precious hours 
I had with thee, dear friend, should have been given 
To dreams of love, and thoughts and hopes of Heaven. 
Autumn is out among these woodland bowers: 



GKEEN BANK. 211 

Still am I lingering here, as loth to part 
From ray soul's glorious king. Yet ah ! ray heart 
Hath been at wayward angry war with thine. 
I spoke rude words of those who are at rest, 
Profaning him whose memory thou dost shrine 
In some choice niche within thy secret breast. 
'Twas a rude act : but friendships newly sprung 
Are flowers of timid growth and little faith. 
The softest footfall and the lightest breath 
Will jar a chord that hath been overstrung. 



LV. 
GREEN BANK. 

Sept. 12, 1838. 
I. 

BROTHER, brother ! thou art gone, and I will not mourn 
thy going, 

Though thou hast been unto me like a river in its 
flowing; 

For many a fresh and manly thought, and many a glo- 
rious dream, 

Like fruits and flowers of foreign lands, have flourished 
by the stream. 

Yet, brother, it is well to part : a sunset in the sky 

Sinks deepest in the heart wken it is fading from the eye ! 

II. 

The heart is never safe unless it trembles while it woos : 
Man cannot love a treasure that he does not fear to lose. 
In touch and look and earnest tone, and many a little way 



212 ADMIRATION OF NATURE. 

Thy spirit will be more with me when thou art far 

away : 
For men may dwell by mountain streams, and all the 

summer round 
Have music lingering in their ears till they forget the 

sound. 

in. 

Though it be bitterness and pain to bid a friend good-bye, 
Yet love will catch the tear-drops as they hurry from the 

eye: 
And friendship's rarest, holiest flowers spring up from 

loyal fears, 
Frail blooms that give no scent unless we water them 

with tears : 
And rich and happy is the heart wherein there always 

dwell, 

Like household gods, the memories of many a kind fare- 
well! 



LVI. 
ADMIRATION OF NATURE. 

WHEN men talk much to me of woods and hills, 
How evening lights and star-embroidered skies 
Go through them with mysterious sympathies, 
How gushing cataracts and diving rills 
Find way into their hearts, and Autumn pale, 
And Spring ere sunny June hath raised her veil, 
And Summer's breadth of slia.l , are full of thought- 
Then I believe them not : they have but caught 
A trick of words from some dear minstrel's verse. 
The awful spirit of reserve, that dwells 



KING'S BRIDGE. 2J3 

In nature's forms and shadows, hides in cells, 
The jealous hearts of bards, her treasures rare. 
Men that have been with God learn silence there, 
Nor at all times their secret joys rehearse. 



LVIL 
TO A BOOKISH FRIEND. 

TALK not of books : thou hast not been with me, 
Free and bareheaded where the wind is wildest, 
Lifting its loud voice on the tumbling sea, 
Or riding fast o'er Loughrigg's many knolls : 
No, nor where ebon night's dread power is mildest, 
In Kirkstone, when the wandering nightwind tolls 
Hoarse minute-bells among the rocky towers : 
Nor lurked at noon in Brathay's hazel bowers. 
Thou hast not seen the dawn's first blushing beams 
Gild the grey battlements of Ravenscar, 
The hills, the pines, the hundred foamy streams ; 
Nor talked all night to some most heavenly star, 
Where solitude hath got her holiest dwelling, 
By the black tarn where Fairfield meets Helvellyn ! 



LVIII. 
KING'S BRIDGE. 

i. 

THE dew falls fast, and the night is dark, 
And the trees stand silent in the park ; 



214 KING'S BRIDGE. 

And winter passeth from bough to bough 
With stealthy foot that none may know, 
But little the old man thinks he weaves 
His frosty kiss on the ivy leaves. 

From bridge to bridge with tremulous fall 

The river droppeth down, 
And it washeth the base of a pleasant hall 

On the skirts of Cambridge town. 
Old trees by night are like men- in thought, 
By poetry to silence wrought ; 
They stand so still and they look so wise, 
With folded arms and half-shut eyes, 
More shadowy than the shade they cast 
When the wan moonlight on the river passed. 
The river is green, and runneth slow 

We cannot tell what it saith ; 
It keepeth its secrets down below, 
And so doth Death ! 

ii. 

Oh ! the night is dark ; but not so dark 
As my poor soul in this lonely park : 
There are festal lights by the stream, that fall, 
Like stars, from the casements of yonder hall ; 
But harshly the sounds of gladness grate 
On one that is crushed and desolate. 

From bridge to bridge with tremulous fall 
The river droppeth down, 

As it washeth the base of a pleasant hall 

On the skirts of Cambridge town. 
Oh, Sister ! Sister ! could I but hear 
What this river saith in night's still ear, 
And catch the faint whispering voice it brings 



KING'S BRIDGE. 215 

From its lowlands green and its reedy springs ; 
It might tell of the spot where the greybeard's spade 
Turned the cold wet earth in the lime-tree shade. 
The river is green, and runneth slow 

We cannot tell what it saith : 
It keepeth its secrets down below, 
And so doth Death ! 

in. 

For death was born in thy blood with life 
Too holy a fount for such sad strife : 
Like a secret curse from hour to hour 
The canker grew with the growing flower, 
And little we deemed that rosy streak 
Was the tyrant's seal on thy virgin cheek. 
From bridge to bridge with tremulous fall 

The river droppeth down, 
As it washeth the base of a pleasant hall 

On the skirts of Cambridge town. 
But fainter and fainter thy bright eyes grew, 
And ruder and redder that rosy hue ; 
And the half-shed tears that never fell, 
And the pain within thou wouldst not tell, 
And the wild, wan smile, all spoke of death, 
That had withered my siste* with his breath. 
The river is green, and runneth slow 

We cannot tell what it saith : 
It keepeth its secrets down below, 

And so doth Death ! 

IV. 

'Twas o'er thy harp one day in June, 

I marvelled the strings were out of tune ; 





216 KING'S BRIDGE. 

But lighter and quicker the music grew, 
And deadly white was thy rosy hue ; 
One moment and back the color came, 
Thou calledst me by my Christian name. 
From bridge to bridge with tremulous fall 

The river droppeth down, 
As it washeth the base of a pleasant hall 

On the skirts of Cambridge town. 
Thou badest me be silent and bold, 
But my brain was hot, and my heart was cold. 
I never wept, and I never spake, 
But stood like a rock where the salt seas break ; 
And to this day I have shed no tear, 
O'er my blighted rose and my sister's bier. 
The river is green, and runneth slow 

We cannot tell what it saith : 
It keepeth its secrets down below, 
And so doth Death ! 

v. 

I stood in the church with burning brow, 
The lips of the priest moved solemn and slow. 
I noted each pause, and counted each swell, 
As a sentry numbers a minute bell ; 
For unto the mourner's- heart they call 
From the deeps of that wondrous ritual. 
From bridge to bridge with tremulous fall 

The river droppeth down, 
As it washeth the base of a pleasant hall 

On the skirts of Cambridge town. 
But little to me were the psalm and prayer, 
As they rose and fell on the cold church air, 
Nor felt I a holier presence near 



KING'S BRIDGE. 217 

Than the withered flower on her darksome bier ; 
But I stood and prayed, as mourners may, 
True prayer, though the thoughts be far away. 
The river is green, and runneth slow 

We cannot tell what it saith : 
It keepeth its secrets down below, 
And so doth Death ! 



VI. 

The dew falls fast, and the night is dark ; 

The trees stand silent in the park. 

The festal lights have all died out, 

And nought is heard but a lone owl's shout. 

The mists keep gathering more and more* 

But the stream is silent as before. 

From bridge to bridge with tremulous fall 

The river droppeth down, 
As it washeth the base of a pleasant hall 

On the skirts of Cambridge town. 
Why should I think of my boyhood's pride 
As I walked by this low-voiced river's side ? 
And why should its heartless waters seem 
Like a horrid thought in a feverish dream ? 
But it will not speak ; and it keeps in its bed 
The words that are sent us from the dead, 
The river is green, and runneth slow 

We cannot tell what it saith : 
It keepeth its secrets down below, 

And so doth Death ! 



218 TO A FRIEND. 



LIX. 
TO A FRIEND. 

THOU walkest with a glory round thy brow, 
Like Saints in pictures, radiant in the blaze 
And splendor of thy boyhood, mingling now 
With the bold bearing of a man, that plays 
In eyes which do with such sweet skill express 
Thy soul's hereditary gentleness. 
Thou art my friend's best friend ; and higher praise 
My heart hath none to give, nor thine to take ; 
So I have loved thee for my brother's sake. 
But when thou talk'st of England's better days, 
And from its secret place thy soul comes forth, 
And sits upon thy lips as on a throne, 
Then would I fain do homage to thy worth, 
Not for his sake so much as for thine own. 



LX. 
TO A FRIEND. 

'Piguus accepimus, ut incipiarnus in Domino et in Deo nostro tranquilli 
esse." St. AugiuHn. 

WE have two things to do, to live and die : 
To win another and a longer life 
Out of this earthly change and weary strife ; 
To catch the hours that one by one go by, 



FAVORITE BOOKS. 219 

And write the Cross upon them as they fly. 

So shall they lay their burden gently down, 

Sinking, perchance hard-by, beneath the Throne, 

Withdrawn anew into eternity. 

'Tis hard to live by youth's fast bubbling springs, 

And treat our loves, joys, hopes, as flowery things 

That for awhile may climb the boughs, and twine 

Among the prickly leaves of discipline. 

Yet, wouldst thou rise in Christ's self-mastering school, 

Thy very heart itself must beat by rule. 



LXI. 
FAVORITE BOOKS. 

HERE, in thy choice old city, do I dwell 
At thy dread feet, most honored Clarendon ! 
Catching the precious words, that one by one 
Fall from thy lips ; because I love full well 
Thy good and stately sadness : and I prize, 
As warnings for this land, the auguries 
Wherewith, like fatal seeds, thy pages swell. 
From these hot thoughts and tears full oft I fly 
To the gay Froissart, and those wondrous men 
Who dreamed of honor, and had heart to die 
For their own brave and glorious dream ; and then, 
Albeit with childish lingerings, again 
I turn to graver books, where by my side 
Lies Origen, my dear and perilous guide. 



220 APRIL MORNINGS. 



LXIL 
TO A SANGUINE FRIEND. 

I CANNOT live on dreams my whole life long, 
I cannot gaze on ruined arch, and aisle, 
And altar desolate, and then beguile 
My weary soul with some old loyal song, 
Or tale of English honor. 'Tis not year; 
Have chilled my blood or made my spirit cold, 
.But ancient books, kindling new hopes and fears, 
The awful features of the Church unfold. 
Yet, when in this dear land sad hearts behold 
That Church alone at her deserted prayers 
Amid her empty niches, unawares 
Old truths revive and coward men grow bold ; 
And shall my heart give way, while thou art by, 
Thine own meek self our surest prophecy ? 



LXIII. 

APRIL MORNINGS, 
i. 

A THOUSAND are the minstrel tongues 

In this unequal clime, 
Whose sweetest notes have been of spring 

And of her primrose time. 



APRIL MORNINGS. 221 

II. 
More songs hath April of her gifts, 

Bright sun and rainy breeze, 
Than May with her pale flower-beds, 

And June with her broad trees. 

in. 
I dare not join the mighty souls 

Upon the poet's hill, 
Though, looking long on those green heights, 

My dream may come true still. 

IV. 

Yet will I hymn this season good 

Which doth such joy impart, 
And wakes new fervor in the blood, 

Old lightness in the heart. 

v. 
It takes the fetters from the lyre 

On April's first white dawn, 
When the sun is on the evergreens 

Upon the college lawn. 

VI. 

It doth unlock young fancy's wells 

To run all summer long. 
Till the whole heart is overflowed 

Witli in i imprisoned song. 

VII. 

Those wells are chartered for the year 

To wind o'er field and hill, 
Early and lute, in sun and shower, 

Speaking in songs at will. 



222 TO A FEIEND. 

VIII. 
All things are metrical and free, 

That taste of spring's wild treasure ; 
Our very thoughts, in their first joy, 

Come out in lyric measure. 

IX. 

Yet, Brother, most I love this time, 
For Spring, as she goes by, 

Will trim the fires of the old year 
In thy dark speaking eye. 

x. 

Last summer's harp from yon oak-tree, 
Young Poet ! thou shalt bring, 

And we will play a measure here 
In honor of the Spring ! 



LXIV. 
TO A FRIEND. 

OH by the love which unto thee I bear, 
By the tall trees and streams, and everything 
In the white-clouded sky or woodland air, 
Whether of sight or sound, that here may bring 
The joyous freshness of the grassy spring 
Fain would I warn thee; for too well I know, 
Be what thou wilt, thou must be dear to me. 
And lo! thou art in utter bondage now, 
Whence I would have thy manly spirit free. 
Among the hills we two did never mar 



LLYMSYVADDON. 223 

The moss about the springs, but learnt to spare 

Pale floNvers which rude hands would not leave to grow ; 

And if thou wert so wisely gentle there 

Thy soul hath better flowers oh ! be as guiltless now. 



LXV. 
LLYNSYVADDON. 

BY summer lakes and copsewoods green 
We two in happy times have been ; 
And blyther pilgrims never rode, 
Since Leven down her valley flowed, 
Or mass was sung and prayer was said 
In Furness o'er the Christian dead. 
That was a day of love and mirth 
Which may not dawn again on earth. 
Each plant that in the hedges grew, 
Fox-glove, and fern, and bell of blue, 
And bending rose-branch all were bright 
With more than summer's common light. 
We thought that day by Leven's brink 
Sad thoughts which youth delights to think, 
That in its musings it may feel 
How well and gently lovo can steal 
On drooping hearts and troubled eyes, 
And take our sadness by surprise. 
Another year is wellnigh told : 
My heart and spirits have waxed old, 
From growing thought, fresh gifts and fears, 
More than in all my other years ! 
Sweet are the oaks in summer-tide 



224 LLYNSYV ADDON. 

By Llynsyvaddon's reedy side, 
Or the cool alders arching o'er 
Where Usk indents his earthy shore. 
There hath not been a brighter dawn 
On old Llanthony's mountain lawn, 
Or Honddy's wave not since the hour 
AVhen My n arch feasted in Tretower. 

By rock and tree the tyrant sun 
Reigned fiercely o'er the cloudless noon ; 
And I had dreamed yon mistwreath still 
Was resting oil some Cumbrian hill, 
And fancy for awhile had given 
To Usk the sweeter song of Leven. 
Alas! how changed is all the scene, 
Mountains and streams and dingles green ! 
The ivied tower in every vale, 
Some haunt of legendary tale, 
The flowery slope, the mossy spring, 
No taneful words or thoughts can bring. 
They pass through spirits ill at ease, 
Like summer winds through leafless trees. 
For then it was thy heart and eye 
That touched and stirred the poetry. 
But now, among the hills alone, 
The color from my dream is gone ; 
And lonely hearts will often move 
Harsh doubts of those they fondest love. 
Sadness is selfish ; and the throng 
Of thoughts in loneliness too strong 
To make or leave a home for song ! 

Llanthony lurks in Ewia's vale, 
And Wye half clasps her Tintern pale, 
And Usk is flowing every hour 



CHILDHOOD. 225 

By Ragland, Brecon, and Tretower. 
Yet could I see the summer smile 
Just now in Furness' haunted pile, 
The broken choir, the hollow grove, 
Which we did people with our love, 
Wye with her woodland tides might be 
A place, a name, forgot by me, 
And Usk rave downward to the 3ea. 
Yes by my love for thee I swear 
Those mountains green and valleys fair, 
With all their castles, are not worth 
One ruined abbey in the North. 



LXVI. 
CHILDHOOD. 

i. 



DOST thou remember how we lived at home 

That it was like an oriental place, 
Where right and wrong, and praise and blame did come 

By ways we wondered at and durst not trace, 
And gloom and sadness were but shadows thrown 
From griefs that were our sire's, and not our own ? 

ii. 
It was a moat about our souls, an arm 

Of sea, that made the world a foreign shore, 
And we were two enamoured of the charm 

To dream that barks might come and waft us o'er. 
Cold snow was on the hills ; and they did wear 
Too wild and wan a look to tempt us there. 
15 



226 CHILDHOOD. 

III. 

We had traditions of our own, to weave 

A web of creed and right and sacred thought ; 

And when a stranger, who did not believe 

As they who were our types of God had taught, 

Came to our home, how harsh his words did seem, 

Like sounds that mar but cannot break a dream. 

IV. 

And then in Scripture some high things there were, 
Of which, they said, we must not read or talk ; 

And we through fear did never trespass there, 
But made our Bibles like our twilight walk 

In the deep woodlands, where we durst not roam 
To spots from whence we could not see our home. 

v. 

Albeit we fondly hoped, when we were men, 
To learn the lore our parents loved so well, 

And read the rights and symbols which were then 
But letters of a word we could not spell 

Church-bells, and Sundays, and the Altar-stair 

In whose dread Gift we were too young to share. 

VI. 

But we too soon from our safe place were driven ; 

The world broke in upon our orphaned life. 
Dawnings of good, young flowers that looked to Heaven, 

It left untilled for what seemed manlier strife ; 
Like a too-early summer, bringing fruit 

Where spring perchance had meant another shoot ! 



ROSS CHURCHYARD. 227 



VII. 

Some begin life too soon, like sailors thrown 

Upon a shore where common things look strange ; 

Like them they roam about a foreign town, 

And grief awhile may own the force of change. 

Yet, though one hour new dress and tongue may please, 

Our second thoughts look 'homeward, ill at ease. 

VIII. 

Come then unto our childhood's wreck again 
The rocks hard-by our father's early grave ; 

And take the few chance treasures that remain, 
And live through manhood upon what we save. 

So shall we roam the same old shore at will, 

In the fond faith that we are children still ! 

IX. 

Christian ! thy dream is now it was not then : 
Oh ! it were strange if childhood were a dream. 

Strife and the world are dreams : to wakeful men 
Childhood and home as jealous Angels seem : 

Like shapes and hues that play in clouds at even, 

They have shifted from thee into Heaven ! 



LXVII. 
ROSS CHURCHYARD. 

IT is an evening of profound repose : 
The sun's last light is passing up the "Wye ; 
The hills and woods, the quiet earth and sky, 
More than is wont that inner world disclose, 
Which they so barely cover. All is still 



228 INVENTION OF THE HOLY CROSS. 



So still, so little likely to surprise 
The world's wayfaring sons, that it might fill 
A Christian heart with strange and dim surmise. 
The end perchance may come with like still power, 
The world's last evening, man's last trial-hour, 
When the glad Church, to whom alone is given 
To read earth's types and rites with faultless art, 
May see the shadows from the inner heaven 
Stirring on its pale earthly counterpart. 



LXVIII. 

THE FEAST OF THE INVENTION OF THE 
, HOLY CROSS. 

[May 3.] 

" We heard of it in Ephrata ; we have found it in 
the fields of the wood." Ps. cxxxi. 6. 

I. 

WE came to bid farewell : it was the day 

Whereon the white earth-fretted Cross was found ; 

And we, strange chance ! did meet it on our way, 
As we were in an ancient pleasure-ground, 

Close by a languid river, where the spring 

'Mid bursting buds and flowers was rioting. 

ii. 
It was a garden wild, a mystic scene, 

Which an old poet in times past had planned, 
And May was coloring with lines of green 

The goodly work of his religious hand. 
For he had thought a broad Church-cross to make, 
And bade the elms the hallowed form to take.* 

* The gardens of St. John's, Cambridge, laid out by Prior. 



INVENTION OP THE HOLY CROSS. 229 

III. 

Transept and nave each summer roofs with care ; 

And here perchance in life's less happy hours 
The dwellers in that studious House repair 

To learn deep Christian things from homely flowers, 
When evening comes with many winds to chime 
Up in the trees her own cathedral time. 

IV. 

Outside the Cross a wilderness was laid, 
Apt likeness of the world had it not been 

That moss and colonies of primrose made 
Too sweet a desert, far too fair a scene ! 

There many a proud young fritillary weaves 

With hyacinths his panther-spotted leaves : 

v. 

And lily-plants in scattered pairs, like gems, 
Shine in the tall dark grass between the trees, 

Stooping to empty on their own green stems 
The morning dew from their red chalices ; 

For at high noon the drops lay sparkling still 

On king-cup pale and jealous daffodil. 

VI. 

We came to bid farewell : beneath the shade 

Old times, old dreams were sweetly pondered o'er, 

And sweeter was the welcome that we made 
To wiser hopes, and I did love thee more 

For all the signs thou wert so meekly giving 

Of the grave inward life which thou art living ! 



230 AMBITIOUS REPENTANCE. 

VII. 

We came and bade farewell ; and thou didst go 
To lands where trees have larger leaves than ours ; 

But the fair fields where foreign rivers flow, 
Their piny hills, will give thee no such powers, 

As the low hazel-woods and forest brakes 

That open to our own unworldly lakes. 

VIII. 

Unworldly lakes' ! Did we not dream away 
Part of our manhood by theii* inland coves, 

Living, like summer insects, all the day 

In summer winds or shade of drowsy groves? 

And with our endless songs and joyous airs 

Made wings unto ourselves as bright as theirs ! 

IX. 

Farewell ! These lines may go where thou hast gone, 
Home's echo to thee iu transalpine bowers ; 

Our past leave-takings are the food, whereon 
All friendship lives; and in her barren hours 

Shall memory poetic impulse borrow 

From the green place and hour of that sweet sorrow. 



LXIX. 
AMBITIOUS REPENTANCE. 

i. 

PEACE! Peace ! What aileth thee, poor sinful heart? 

Rest in thy lonely room 
Scant happiness and sinner's penance-gloom 

Henceforth must be thy part. 



AMBITIOUS REPENTANCE. 231 

II. 
Why cravest thou, poor soul ! fresh want or pain, 

Mishap or sickness strong ? 
He must be old in faith, who dares to long 

For punishment again. 

in. 

The Cross, the Thorns, the Woes, that press thee now, 

Have yet got fruit to bear : 
And there is virtue still in each keen care 

To scathe thy lofty brow. 

IV. 

Absence of earthly hopes, no prospects brave 

By some chance joy exposed, 
And vents of sweetest mortal feeling closed 

With cold earth from the grave : 

v. 

These are thy riches, where thy lone abode 

Mid withered loves is cast, 
And ghosts of broken day-dreams, and the past 

Accusing thee to God./ 



VI. 

All things that touch thee wither let them be ! 

For thou dost wither all. 
Stern cheer ! mid blight and barrenness they call, 

The Dead call out to thee. 

VII. 

The early fauid which compass thee about, 

To aid thy frailty come, 
And clear for penitence a hidden home, 

And keep the world's praise out. 



232 AMBITIOUS REPENTANCE. 

VIII. 

All round thee, like kind wreaths of cloud, they rise, 

To hide the heart's fresh bloom, 
That thou may'st still be troubled in thy gloom, 

By men's hard tongues and eyes. 

IX. 

Covet no more ; nor in ambitious hours 

Thy little strength forget : 
Ah ! there is store of bitter honey yet 

Deep in these scentless flowers. 

x. 

One joy is undenied : one earthly dream 

Kept from the barren past : 
One golden sunburst that o'er feast and fast 

Shines with an equal gleam. 

XI. 

Thoft canst not bear to lose it, ever twining 

Bright thoughts among the dark ; 
'Twould be thy death, poor soul ! no more to mark 

Its solitary .shining. 

XII. 

Covet no more : from these few pangs thou must 

Enough for penance earn ; 
And wait and work : faith's last hard lesson learn, 

Calmness in self-distrust. 

XIII. 

Autumnal thoughts, the greenest hAors shed, 

With dreams and loves decayed, 
At every wind's first bidding, straight obeyed, 

These strew thy hermit bed. 



TO A LAKE PARTY. 233 

XIV. 
Wan as an autumn sun thy whole youth through 

On feeblest shin ings live ; 
And later on new frosts perchance may give 

Autumnal beauty too. 



LXX. 
TO A LAKE PARTY. 

i. 

WE shall all meet again, 
Not in the wood or plain, 
Nor by the lake's green marge ; 
But we shall meet once more 
By a far greener shore, 
With our souls set at large. 

ii. 

We all shall never stand 

On Rothay's white-lipped strand, 

And hear the far sheep-cries : 

The Wansfell wind may blow, 

But not to kindle now 

The bright fire in our eyes. 

in. 

The three cleft mountains stand 
In theii own treeless land, 
Where we all stood and wondered. 
The black cliffs are the same 
Where the hundred echoes came 
That dark day when it thundered. 



234 TO A LAKE PARTY. 

IV. 

The summer sun sinks nightly 
Into the Solway brightly 
We are not there to see. 
The mountain loophole seems 
Full of the golden beams, 
Full as it used to be. 

v. 

Athwart the sunlit vale 
The heavy ravens sail, 
Each to his craggy dwelling ; 
While evening gathers brown 
On thy stone-sprinkled down, 
Thou desolate Helvellyn ! 

VI. 

Still, still, in twilight shade 
Mountains make me afraid, 
And the wood-sounds at night ; 
The red moon in the pine, 
And lustrous tarns that shine, 
With grey and ghostly light. 

VII. 

But vain to me the show ; 

My heart is weary now 

Of all its holy places. 

Oh ! what are sun and shower, 

Hill-path and forest-bower, 

Where there are no friends' faces ? 



CAMBRIDGE. 235 

VIII. 

My youth is left behind 
For some one else to find, 
Upon a bare green mountain : 
My self-tuned harp is thrown, 
Where a juniper clasps a stone, 
Near a moss-belted fountain. 

IX. 

We shall all meet again, 
Not in the wood or plain, 
Nor by the lake's green marge. 
The past shall be lived o'er 
By a far greener shore, 
With our souls set at large. 



LXXI. 
CAMBRIDGE. 

AH me ! were ever river-banks so fair, 
Gardens so fit for nightingales as these ? 
Were ever haunts so meet for summer breeze, 
Or pensive walk in evening's golden air ? 
Was ever town so rich in court and tower 
To woo and win stray moonlight every hour? 
One thing thou lackest much ; the wild wind swells, 
The feast-days come, and yet night silent falls 
On the poor listening stream and patient halls ; 
Thou art a voiceless place, thou hast no bells. 
Yea, but for thy mute shrines, thou wert a town 
That might grey Oxford's vocal towel's disdain, 
Where Isis flows and Cherwell ripples down, 
Timing their several voices to the strain ! 



236 SONNET-WRITING. 



LXXIL 
PAST FRIENDS. 

ARE there such things as friends that pass away ? 
When each fresh opening season of our life, 
Through the dim-struggling crowd and weary strife, 
Brings kindred spirits nigh, whom we would pray 
Might live with us, and by our death-bed stay, 
Do these, our chosen ones, sink down at last 
Into the common grave of visions past ? 
Ah ! there are few men in the world can say 
They had a dream which they do not dream still ; 
Few fountains in the heart which cease to play, 
When those, whose touch evoked them at their will, 
Sit there no more: and I my dreams fulfil, 
When to high heaven my tongue still nightly bears 
Old names, like broken music, in my prayers. 



LXXIII. 
SONNET-WRITING. 

TO F. W. F. 

YOUNG men should not write sonnet?, if they dream 
Some day to reach the bright bare seats of fame : 
To such, sweet thoughts and mighty feelings seem 
As though, like foreign things, they rarely came. 
Eager as men, when haply they have heard 
Of some new songster, some gay-feathered bird, 



THE SAYING OF ST. HERMAS. 237 

That hath o'er blue seas strayed in hope to find 

In our thin foliage here a summer home, 

Fain would they catch the bright tilings in their mind, 

And cage them into sonnets as they come. 

No : they should serve their wants most sparingly, 

Till the ripe time of song, when young thoughts fail, 

Then the sad sonnets, like old bards, might be 

Merry as youth, and yet grey-haired and hale. 



LXXIV. 
THE SAYING OF ST. HERMAS. 

"Concupisce opus tuuni, et salvus eris." 
I, 

THE whole world hath gone out to buy, 

Estates and goods to multiply : 

The sunny field, the garden ground, 

The woods that gird the city round, 

The cedar hall, the ample street, 

The quay where busy merchants meet, 

All places and all spirits burn, 

And for the world's weak treasure yearn. 

n. 

Servant of Christ ! be thou like these, - 
All day and night forego thine ease ; * 
Crave, covet, lust, and labor still, 
Till thou the Master's storehouse fill. 
Be crafty at thy toil, and ply 
All seasons round thy usury. 
Deny thyself, and hoard thy gold 
For Him who died for thee of old. 



238 THE SAYING OF ST. HERMAS. 

III. 

Let not thy life be soft and free, 
Cushion and couch are not for thee. 
Brave shining stone and raiment fair 
Leave thou for kings and priests to wear. 
For them let rich robes be unfurled 
Who bear God's Name within the world. 
Thy throne, O man of God, is yet 
Behind thick clouds and trials set. 

IV. 

Let go all mortal grief and mirth ; 
And, as the world is wise for earth, 
To thee like wisdom shall be given 
To covet still and hoard for heaven. 
Empty on priests, and heathen lands, 
And widows pale, thy willing hands : 
While prince and peer of old names dream, 
Let alms thy sin-pledged soul redeem. 

v. 

Wide, Christian ! is thy mother's field, 
A hundredfold her valleys yield. 
Hoard, and then waste: oh'! scatter round 
Th,y seed in faith upon the ground. 
Wheh men are deep in feast and mirth, 
Steal out and bury gold in earth, 
Then back into the world and ply 
Once more thy hard trade cheerily. 



ON A PUPIL'S PORTRAIT. 239 



LXXV. 
COLLEGE LIFE. 

THERE is fair beauty here, and Christian homes, 

And a high call to every steadfast heart 

To keep chaste watch, and fill a solemn part 

Whereto weak self-disturbance rarely comes ; 

And had I power to knock away below 

The frail, false props that long have borne me up, 

I might have nerve to drain the royal cup, 

Nor keep it at my lips, as I do now. 

Yet amid Shrines, and Rites, and Forms of fear, 

And meek men growing good and great around, 

As though their roots had struck in holy ground, 

My poor base soul is starving feebly here, 

A young, unshapely tree, for ever giving 

The fruits of loveless days and lonely living. 



LXXVI. 
ON A PUPIL'S PORTRAIT. 

DEAR Boy ! when I do look into thy face 

Glittering with sunny thoughts, I fain would bless 

Thee for thy beauty and thy boyishness, 

For the fair brow youth crowns with freshest grace, 

For the light spirits and the humors wild, 

Wherewith my sadness is infected so 

That years drop off me, and dull thoughts forego 



240 ENGLAND'S TRUST. 

A reign which o'er my heart hath not been mild. 

Yea, for all this I bless thee ; but a part 

More grave and stern is mine, for they commit 

To my safe charge, young boy ! thy merry heart, 

So gentle one hard word hath wounded it. 

Oh thou shalt hear no more hard words from me, 

But, when thou sin'st, my prayers shall set thee free. 



LXXVII. 
ENGLAND'S TRUST. 

I JOY that the times are dark and dreary, 

I joy that the earth is old, 
That the hands of our kings are weak and weary, 

And the hearts of our nobles cold. 
I joy that the good and few are fearing, 

And the camp and court at play, 
That the swift-riding world is out of hearing, 

When the watchword comes this way. 
I joy for the signs of strife and trouble, 

And for England's awakening might, 
For the voices deep that are sounding double, 

Like the striking of clocks at night. 
I joy for the words that all are speaking, 

A language the earth had lost, 
For the hardy thoughts and steady seeking 

Whose path may not be crossed. 
The nation too long hath weakly striven 

In the craft of her own wise hand, 
For it is not through laws or wisdoms that Heaven 

Deals health to a gold-stricken land. 



THIELMERE. 241 

I joy for this day that the calm and aged 

Cease vaunting of England through fear, 
It tells that the thirst for self-praise is assuaged, 

And the shock to rouse life in her near. 
I joy for the young that they lay not her honor 

In the stir of song and story, 
Nor in that which mere blood of her sons hath won her, 

Her world-wide name of glory. 
I joy for the loss of the noisy gladness 

That hath made late years so dull : 
But more I joy for the humbling sadness 

Whereof true hearts are full. 
Trust may not be in wisdoms hoary, 

Nor in wealth and greatness blent, 
But in the faith that this dream of glory 

Came to us for punishment. 



LXXVIII. 
THIRLMERE. 

i. 
THERE are two times in life, to love and fear,- 

Two times like birth and death ; 
They are two different echoes that we hear, 

Which Heaven uttereth. 

ii. 

Those are not real the strong- vaulted sky, 

The heavy-flowing seas, 
The rocky roots of hills, and lakes that lie 

In hollows deep like these. 
16 



242 THIRLMERE. 

III. 
Heaven comes with her two voices, old and young, 

Creating these for us ; 
They are but mystic shadows dimly flung 

From off our spirits thus. 

IV. 

All hope, all joy, all mortal life with such 

Sweet sadness is inlaid : 
And all things have on them from Heaven a touch 

Of sunshine or of shade. 

v. 

I have been here before, yet scarce can tell 

The outline of the hills ; 
The light is changed, another voice doth swell 

In those wild-sounding rills. 

VI. 

I have been here before : in sun and shade 

A blythe green place it seemed : 
Here have I talked with friends, sweet songs have made, 

And lovely things have dreamed. 

VII. 

And I have ridden to the lake this day 

With more than common gladness ; 
But hill and flood upon me strangely weigh 

"With new and fearful sadness. 

VIII. 

And all bright forms without me I would take 

A redbreast on the wall, 
A buzzard flapping o'er the cold blue lake, 

A hundred streams that call 



THIRLMERE. 243 

IX. 

One to another all Helvellyn over, 

The light upon the pine, 
Yon single pine on high, that can discover 

There is a sun to shine : 

x. 

But, above all, the boy who at my side, 

For boyhood hath no morrow, 
Bound up in his own merry thoughts, doth chide 

His dull friend for his sorrow ; 

XI. 

Yea, above all, that boy to whom is given 

Better than miser's pelf, 
To love, and such love ever is of Heaven, 

One older than himself : 

XII. 

All these bright things into my soul I take, 

That they may shed light there. 
And they but give cojd blueness to the lake, 

Cold brightness to the air. 

XIII. 

Oh ! speak to me, thou lake ! thou mountain brow ! 

In that old voice of joy 
Oh ! speak to me, as ye are speaking now 

To that pure-hearted boy. 

XIV. 

" Nay, bid us not, we are but voiceless things, 

Shadows and pomps for thee ; 
We can but echo the dread voice that rings 

From Heaven's blue canopy ; 



244 LENT. 

XV. 

"And thou hast deadened it ; we cannot hear 

Through that thick soul of thine ; 
We are mute slaves, and waiting mutely here 

For thee to give the sign. 

XVI. 

" Sunshine and shade, sweet wind and pearly shower- 
All these we have of thee ; 

Our light and gloom we borrow every hour 
From thine infinity. 

XVII. 

" We have no depth, no substance of our own, 

No life which we inherit, 
Oh ! blame not us ; we are pale outlines thrown 

From thine undying spirit." 



LXXIX. 

LENT. 

i. 

YES ! I have walked the world these two months past 
With quick free step, loud voice, and youth's light 
cheer ; 

And dull and weary were the shadows cast 

From the dark Cross and Lent's dim portals near. 

ii. 
Yes ! I rode up with such a noisy state 

And retinue of all things bright and fair, 
And reached in this new pilgrim guise the gate, 

As though my dreams might have free passage there. 



LENT. 245 

III. 
Dreams of far travel, visionary love, 

Hopes, memories, sweet songs, and sunny faces, 
Cheering each other on, with me did move 

Some way on Lent's keen roads and desert places. 

IV. 

And many a pilgrim wending o'er the plain, 

With face half-veiled a.nd tear-drops flowing fast, 

Marvelled perchance at that unsightly train, 
When I and my strange servitors rode past. 

v. 

But every stone that lay along the way, 

Wounding the feet of those who travelled by, 

Each sleety shower, chill blast, and cloudy day, 
Scattered my poor soft-living company. 

VI. 

Thus as my spirit more and more drank in 
The deep mysterious dimness of the time, 

Old forms waxed pale, and lines and shapes of sin 
Wore hardly off, and my baptismal prime 

VII. 

Grew into color and distinctness there ; 

But my blythe train and equipage were gone, 
The songs -and sunny smiles ; my heart was bare, 

With Lent all darkening round me, and alone. 

VIII. 

O joy of all our joys ! to be bereft 

Of our false power to make the world so dear ! 
O joy of all our joys ! to be thus left 

In our wild years, Avith none but Jesus near ! 



246 HALF A HEART. 

IX. 

How sweetly then shall Lent's few Sundays shock 
The sadness which itself hath now grown sweet, 

Like the soft striking of an old church-clock, 
Making the heart of summer midnight beat. 

x. 

How sweetly now shall this most holy gloom 
Gather and double on ray Chastened heart, 

Circling with dark bright folds the Garden-Tomb, 
Where Lent and I, like Christian friends, shall part. 



LXXX. 
HALF A HEART. 

i. 
COME, I will give thee half a heart 

If that will do to love ; 
And if I give thee all, dear friend, 

It would but worthless prove. 

n. 
Thou art too good to see or know 

The ills that in me dwell : 
It is most right to keep our faults 

From those we love so well. 

HI. 
So then I warn thee, do not think 

My fitful love untrue : 
I have another, darker self, 

Which thou must sometimes view. 



THE LITANY. 247 

IV. 

Men take me, change me if they may, 

And love me if they can ; 
Few can do that ; few choose, like thee, 

A double-hearted man. 

v. 
My better self shall be thy friend, 

My worse self not thy foe, 
And to love light in time perchance, 

May make my darkness go. 

VI. 
If I should seem to play thee false, 

Then pour thy love through prayer : 
It is the fit ; my better heart 

Withdraws itself elsewhere. 

VII. 

And weary not if I do still 

New light or gloom disclose : 
What else in sooth can poets be 

But men whom no one knows ? 



LXXXI. 
THE LITANY. 

i. 

O SWEET, most sweet and penitential sound ! 
In tides of chaste, austere old music setting 
O'er all those kneelers' hearts, at penance found, 
Weary with strife and unwise knowledge-getting. 



248 THE LITANY. 

II. 

sweet, most sweet and penitential sound ! 
Each low response, with organ notes attended, 
Loosens some link of sin which sadly bound 
Souls where the Church and world were too much 
blended. 

in. 

O sweet, most sweet and penitential sound ! 
Circling the Altar and the pillars grasping, 
Breathing a soul into the marble ground, 
Where knees are bending and mute hands are clasping ! 

IV. 

O sweet, most sweet and penitential sound ! 
O prayer most dear, most dread, and full of Heaven ! 
Pleading with saints to get our souls unbound, 
And have our sins and our soft lives forgiven. 

v. 

O sweet, most sweet and penitential sound ! 

Thy cadence thrills on me in times of sinning ; 

Thy grieving fall hath oft my soul unbound, 

Its thoughts and dreams to calmer currents winning. 

VI. 

O sweet, most sweet and penitential sound ! 
O rite most dear ! that in weak hours of vaunting, 
Languors of earthly love, or strivings crowned, 
Still keeps my heart a shrine with plaintive haunting. 



FRANCE. 249 



LXXXII. 
FRANCE. 

PUT back the Fleu-r de Lys ! Within the gates 
Of Rhodes the misbelieving Ishinaelite 
On hall and hostelry hath left unharmed 
The scutcheons of the military monks, 
Save where the Cross or Human Face appeared, 
Alike repugnant to his law. Yet now 
On all the ancient citadels of France, 
Sea-gates and palaces, the hand of wrath 
With foolish diligence hath knocked away 
The triple lilies from the fretted shield. 

And is it thus ye strive to quell the'thought 
Of the crowned Capets? Is it thus, forsooth, 
Ye seek to stifle in your growing sons 
Those risings of the heart towards the past, 
Which kindle patriots' tears to fertilize 
The soil whence noblest aspirations spring, 
From out whose blossoms even now depends 
A holier future, their legitimate fruit ? 
O wrath is blind : ye were in this your act 
Wisely unwise, and yet ye meant it not ! 
Ye could not have devised a feast, or reared 
A pillar more memorial of the past, 
Or forced it on the fancy of your youth 
With more continuous admonition, rites 
More grave, than this dumb sacrifice of fear! 

Go to the Asian cemeteries, thread 
The cypress lanes of Smyrna or Stamboul : 



250 FRANCE. 

Spite of yourself one thought is uppermost, 
The slaughtered Janissaries ! nay the cry 
Of the red Hippodrome seems ever blent 
With soft incessant cooing, for such spots 
Are populous with doves ; and whence is this 
But from the broken sepulchres which stand 
All turbanless amid their turbaned peers? 
And quickened by the infantine display 
Of the great despot's anger, memory dwells 
Upon the doom of those praetorians : thus 
The very absence of the Fleur de Lys 
Writes it more deeply on the vacant shield 
Than the strong chisel ; and within the mind, 
Nay oft with strange illusion to the eye, 
Obliterates, where such hath been engraved, 
The Jewish emblem. See, in this poor toil 
Of mischief, how the timorous insolence 
Of insecure success hath overreached 
Itself, and most reluctant homage paid 
Unto the very symbols of a past 
From which it deemed itself emancipate. 

O France ! methinks it were a manlier game 
To make a plaything of old fetters, thus 
Attesting present freedom, and to keep 
In thoughtful ease the shackles in thy hands, 
Neither as things of shame nor spells of fear. 
Why tremble at thy lilies ? If they be 
Less frail in stone than when the garden breeze 
Scatters the gold dust from their nodding bells, 
Yet freedom is itself a flower, which tops 
All growths except the weedy licence bred 
Within its rich vicinity. And yet 
Thou haply mightst reply that it was well 



FRANCE. 251 

To raze the wicked lily from thy walls, 

And by this outward action so to teach 

Thy children hatred of the bitter past, 

Which that pale flower doth symbolize. But hate 

Begets not wholesome fear, and bitterness 

Teaches no wisdom. They, whose savage tongues 

Hoot loudest round the scaffold, soonest come 

To a like end. Men profit not by wrong, 

Except they love the doers of the wrong, 

With such compassion as the fear of God 

Suggests, or sense of justice can admit. 

What though the later Bourbons, with their crew 

Of courtiers, and effeminate parasites, 

And smooth-tongued peers, O how unlike the peers 

Of the French court in good chivalric times ! 

Weighed heavily on the land, their abject yoke, 

Once shaken off, was barely worth a thought, 

A loathsome dream which one would studiously forbear 

To call to mind, a tyranny too vile 

To be thus honored with enduring hate, 

Too impotent and stupid to become 

A national tradition in a land 

So rich in such remembrances. 



And catholic scholars ! by whose sacred toils 

That realm is waking to a better sense 

Of her grand functions, you would I beseech, 

Alien in name yet wholly one in heart 

To throw the Bourbon cause unto the winds, 

Or leave such loyal treason to the men 

Whose quest is in the world and worldly things. 

Ye have to build again the Church of Christ, 

Ye have Rome's lawful honor to retrieve, 



252 FRANCE. 

Ye have a pagan France within your France 

To be converted, meddle not with plans 

Of mundane policy, but stand on high 

Above the interests of the passing hour, 

And all the pitiful politics of the day, 

And so shall revolutions' awful cloud 

Dash its forked lightnings far below your feet. 

Forewarned, forearmed ! the cause of Holy Church 

Mates with no other ; let the Bourbon name i 

Pass from your watchwords as a doubtful thing 

Which may or may not prosper : stand alone, 

Aloof if need be ; give unto the Church 

The lilies of the monarchy, and God 

Himself will give you kings. 

Those royal flowers 

Are virgin white : their spiristirring past 
They keep unsullied, and themselves have power 
To outgrow defilement, rooted in the tomb 
Of great St. Louis. O ye men of France ! 
Your lilies will not fade alone ; high thoughts 
And masculine purposes, the sense devout 
Of solemn destiny and loyal zeal 
For the true faith of Christ, all, all will fade, 
And trampled lilies can exhale no scent. 
O then forget the heartless faults of kings : 
Freedom hath blood to be forgiven ; 'twere well 
That had not stained the argent Fleur de Lys. 

See to it, men of France ! if with those flowers 
Ye have not even now unthroned yourselves. 
The kingly habit of obedience lost, 
What lingers that is worth a patriot's love ? 
Goodness is greatness : and of Christian states 
None taught this lesson to the world so well 



FRANCE. 253 

As ancient France. O call to mind the days 
When good king Robert lived, or think of Blanche, 
Blanche and St. Louis, reigning first on earth, 
Thenceforth to reign in heaven ; and not unsung, 
For I am English and have need to love 
Those royal names, be pious Errninilde, 
And Bertha, saintly queen of Ethelbert. 

Look o'er the width of this most various realm ! 
Upon the heights above Grenoble stood 
The austere Bruno, planting there the Tree, 
Which mid the wild confusions of the world 
Blooms in tranquillity. See there the vales 
Of Burgundy, from whose chivalric youth 
Bernard began to build his living house 
Deep in the Vale of Absinth. Yonder lies 
Clermont, where once the enthusiast Peter preached, 
And suddenly upon ten thousand tongues 
The will of God alighted, and outspake 
As through a multitude of seers. And there, 
Alas how little prized ! the holy cells 
Of Grandmont and Premontre, and the site, 
Now desecrate, of Clugni's sumptuous pile. 
There like a jewel in the Midland Sea, 
Far off discerned, the isle of Lerins hangs 
Upon the coast of Provence, no fit haunt, 
As from its beauty might at first appear, 
For summer revel or a moonlit masque, 
But where in studious cloister Vincent lived 
And taught, and in the simple panoply 
Of catholic tradition armed, struck down 
The heretics. And in the west behold, 
(Looking towards England with instinctive wish, 
Daily developed through the Christian West, 



254 FRANCE. 

To appease the factions of that separate land,) 

The work of younger days, De Ranee's home, 

The stern La Trappe, with its three sullen lakes 

Hard by Mortagne. O France ! are these to count 

As nothing in the presence of the change 

Which hath been wrought on thee, these ancient things 

And great historic sanctities, which grew 

Beneath the shadow of the Fleur de Lys ? 

O write the past once more upon thy walls, 
And so shall it be written in thy soul. 
For thine is still the character that learns 
More by the outward eye than listening heart. 
It is not as a poet only, one 

Who dreams bright things and ca'res not if they come 
To pass, that I implore the sons of France 
To reinstate their Lily ; as a man, 
A citizen, a priest, I plead the cause 
Of those religious times which are embalmed 
Within that flowery symbol. They who strive 
To dim the illumination of the past, 
And specially in such traditionary forms 
As have a hold upon the popular heart, 
Are like the devotees at whose dark rites 
The lamps were straightway quenched, that what was 

good 

Within them might not put to shame the bad, 
And meddle with the liberty of sin. * 

O cast not off the famous France of yore ! 
Cliug to the very cyphers which attest 
Her old magnificence : and tear away 
From the wide surface of your provinces 
That cumbrous network of unsightly names, 
Which have no music to the generous ear. 



FRANCE. 255 

Enrich yon barren olive-spotted slopes 

With the sweet name of Provence ; let the towers 

Of those fair minsters look around and see 

The woods of Normandy outspread ; let eve 

Cast her rich gloom upon the Pyrenees 

To beautify the wolds of Aquitaine ; 

Let Burgundy, Guienne, and green Poitou 

Call, through the potency of their brave names, 

Fresh knighthood from the earth for thy fresh needs : 

And let there be a king of France once more, 

A Dauphiny for appanage, and Rheims 

The keeper of the Chrism, and at the helm 

Of thy new destinies let Europe see 

The spirit of St. Louis : then, O then, 

Shall it be well with thee, O France, and us, 

(For in how many things we hang on thee,) 

And all good things shall prosper in the West. 

Rise, then, thou' Christian Realm ! and be thyself 
Once more, and this the sign that thou shalt give 
Of thy religious aims and brave intent : 
Replace the Fleur de Lys upon its shield ! 
Let thy sons' hearts be living shields, whereon 
To exalt again the authority of Rome. 
Think of St. Louis, let thy future be 
One long and steadfast vigil round his tomb ; 
For so shalt thou be recognized once more, 
And by the emulous English most of all, 
The peerless nation of the Catholic West ! 



256 PROUD TOETS. 



LXXXIIL 
TWO FAITHS. 

OH pray for me ! thou know'st what prayer I need ! 
What is it to be one in whose weak heart 
Two faiths are lodged, while thought and feeling bleed 
In the wild war ; yet neither will depart ? 
What is it to be one, spell-drawn to stay 
For the completing of his nature, trembling 
Between two different characters each day, 
And seem to his harsh friends to be dissembling? 
Wtitch me, as thou hast watched Mosella's waves 
Bringing her clear, sweet waters down from Treves, 
To Neuendorf along yon southern shore 
Breasting with hope the turbulent green Rhine, 
Till the old flood claims both his banks once more 
Pray on pray on : like fate may yet be mine. 



LXXXIV. 
PROUD POETS. 

NAY, thou hast ceased to be a poet : pride 

Hath all displaced the heavenly gift within ; 

Music of soul can live with many a sin, 

But will not with a haughty spirit bide. 

A bard is one on whom, as in a shower, 

Man's mighty deeds and lovely arts rain power ; 

One whose quick soul hath fetched another sense, 



UNKIND JUDGING. 257 

An inlet deep, where earth with her green things 

Mounts in a tide of vast intelligence, 

And mysteries that need interpretings. 

Can they be proud, who walk across the earth, 

Like fountains, shedding waters for the weary, 

Casting up truths and symbols to give mirth 

Unto the restless, light unto the dreary ? 



LXXXV. 

AGED CITIES. 

I HAVE known cities with the strong-armed Rhine 

Clasping their mouldered quays in lordly sweep ; 

And lingered where the Maine's low waters shine 

Through Tyrian Frankfort ; and been fain to weep 

'Mid the green cliffs where pale Mosella laves 

That Roman sepulchre, imperial Treves. 

Ghent boasts her street, and Bruges her moonlight 

square ; 

And holy Mechlin, Rome of Flanders, stands, 
Like a queen-mother, on her spacious lands ; 
And Antwerp shoots her glowing spire in air. 
Yet have I seen no place, by inland brook, 
Hill-top, or plain, or trim arcaded bowers, 
That carries age so nobly in its look, 
As Oxford with the sun upon her towers. 



LXXXVL 
UNKIND JUDGING. 

To be thought ill of, worse than we deserve, 
To have hard speeches said, cold looks displayed, 
17 



258 ADMONITION. 

By those who should have cheered us when we swerve,- 
Is one of Heaven's best lots, and may be made 
A treasure ere we know it, a lone field 
"Which to hot hearts may bitter blessings yield. 
Either we learn from our past faults to shrink, 
When their full guilt is kept before our eye, 
And, thinking of ourselves as others think, 
We so are gainers in humility : 
Or the harsh judgments are a gloomy screen, 
Fencing our altered lives from praise and glare ; 
And plants that grow in shades retain their green, 
While unmeet sternness kindly chills the air. 



LXXXVII. 
ADMONITION. 

I KNOW thee not, bright friend ! but that thy looks 
Do draw me to thee, with thy boyhood rushing, 
As a sweet fever, through thy veins, and gushing 
From thy clear eyes in merry falls, like brooks 
Leaping, clear crystal things, from their stone fountains, 
And waking echoes in the noonday mountains. 
This is no place for thee ; be warned in time. 
Thou must go haunt some free and breezy knoll, 
Ere this grey city come with spell sublime, 
Freezing her heartless state into thy soul. 
Thou hast been surely cradled out of doors, 
And the great forms that nursed thee are the truest ; . 
And, though these courts were Heaven's own azure floors, 
Yet days are coldest when the skies are bluest. 



GKISEDALE TARN. 259 



LXXXVIIL 
GRISEDALE TARN. 

I. 

WERE I a man upon whose life 

An awful, untold sin did weigh, 
And Heaven vouchsafed not pain or strife 

Enough to do that guilt away, 
And it were well in mine old age 
To build myself an hermitage, 

ii. 

I would not choose a savage place 

Where, all the heavenly seasons round, 

I should read anger in the face 

Of nature's bleak and joyless ground ; 

And winds and streams have voices rude, 

Wherewith to mar the solitude. 

ill. 

No : for the many sins that stain me 

Barren and lonely should it be, 
High up where nature might unchain me 

With her strong mountain liberty, 
With charms that would, through sin-born fears, 
Keep fresh and free the source of tears. 

IV. 

In yon pale hollow would I dwell, 

Where waveless Grisedale meekly lies, 
And the three clefts of grassy fell 



260 GRISEDALE TARN. 

Let in the blueness of the skies : 
And lowland sounds come travelling up 
To echo in that mountain cup. 

v. 

The morning light on mottled stones, 
The unfledged ravens' clamorous mirth, 

The broken gush and hollow moans 
Of waters struggling in the earth, 

And the white lines of bleating sheep 

Crossing, far up, the dewy steep ; 

VI. 

These, with the storms and calms, mayhap 
Enough of sight and sound would make 

For one in mountain nature's lap, 
A dweller by her loneliest lake ; 

While banners bright of kindled mist 

Above his head might hang and twist. 

VII. 
Where from the tarn the shallow brook 

By rough Helvellyn shapes its way, 
The window of my cell should look 

Eastward upon the birth of day ; 
Nor should the place disfigured be 
By garden-plot or favorite tree. 

VIII. 

One blame would I incur, nor fear 
To wound the stranger's curious eye ; 

Some sceptral foxgloves I would rear 
Upon the yellow turf hard by: 

They might to an ascetic serve 

As types and teachers of reserve. 






LARCH TREES. 261 

IX. 
From wanton summer's broadest sun, 

Their perfect splendor they withhold ; 
The regal blossoms, one by one, 

In single, separate pomp unfold, 
Shedding their frail red bells away 
In patient, gradual decay. 

x. 

See with what pleasant slowness there, 

When hedge and wood are past their prime, 

Late summer with her fertile air 
Is forced that kingly stalk to climb ; 

As though the world should read therein 

The Christian way deep truths to win. 

XI. 

In every cleft a kneeling-place 

And cushion of dead fern should lie ; 

From three such loop-holes I might trace 
Meanings and shapes in earth and sky ; 

Huge emblems would they make for me 

Of the Most Holy Trinity ! 



LXXXIX. 

LARCH TREES. 



ALL men speak ill of thee, unlucky Tree ! 
Spoiling with graceless line the mountain edge, 
Clothing with awkward sameness rifted ledge, 
Or uplands swelling brokenly and free : 
Yet shalt thou win some few good words of me. 



262 WRITTEN IX A OREEN'-HOUSE. 

Thy boughs it is that teach the wind to mourn, 
Haunting deep inland spots and groves forlorn 
With the true murmurs of the plaintive sea. 
When tuft and shoot on vernal woodlands shine, 
Who hath a green uuwinterlike as thine? 
And when thou leanest o'er some beetling brow, 
With pale thin twigs the eye can wander through, 
There is no other tree on earth but thou 
Which brings the sky so near or makes it seem so blue. 



XC. 
WRITTEN IN A GREEN-HOUSE. 

WHY are your scents so faint, your stems so slight ? 

Why are your languid leaves outnumbered so 

By wealth of bell and blossom ? Would ye go 

Back to Pacific lands or eastern light 

From whence ye came, bringing your juicy powers 

To heal and lull ? But ailing man hath need 

In his sad lot of a botanic creed ; 

So ye are summoned from your thousand bowers, 

Unwilling Congress from the world of flowers ! 

And now the bard, wise idler, here may pore 

O'er the wild learning and the uncouth store 

Of studious boyhood's desultory hours, 

Rifling all books of travel, far and near, 

To shape a home for each exotic here. 



THE BRATHAY KINGFISHER. 263 



XCI. 

BKATHAY BRIDGE. 

MONTH after month more languid do I grow, 
Struggling and striving in life's sterile round, 
And in each strife and struggle losing ground, 
Letting the anchors of my spirit go. 
The morning long upon this sunny stone, 
Solaced and calmed by Brathay's flooded noise, 
For my late weakness I would fain atone, 
By putting from me life's unhopeful joys. 
But each wise vow and self-i*enouncing speech 
For their untruth the river, as it goes, 
Bears down ; and, ever as the water flows, 
My better self flows past me out of reach ; 
And the sweet sounds, in my soothed ears so long, 
Steal my soul's strength, debasing it to song. 



XCIL 
THE BRATHAY KINGFISHER. 

THOU hast a fair dominion here, Sir King! 
And yon tall stone beneath the alder stem 
Seems a meet throne for a gay crowned thing, 
That wears so well its tawny diadem. 
Thou hast a fair dominion pools and bays, 
With heath and copse and nooks of plumy fern ; 
And tributes of sweet sound the river pays, 



264 LoroinuGG. 

Changing to blythe or sad at every turn. 
The gilded flies, when noon's faint zephyr stirs, 
Upon the sunny shallows walk or swim ; 
And swallows too, those welcome foreigners, 
Under thy bridges, summer tourists, skim, 
Like the light crowd of English yearly thrown 
On river-banks less lovely than their own. 



XCIII. 
LOUGHRIGG. 

i. 
WOULD they not judge untruly who should deem 

I had no friends but those I named in song? 
Would it not be ungentle thus to dream, 
And do poetic silence heartless wrong ? 

n. 

The meadow-brooks with their sweet clamor guide 
Their bending selves to a most wayward time, 

Will earth and sky less waywardly preside 
O'er the meek wills of poets in their prime ? 

in. 

So hath it been, dear Loughrigg! that till now 
My song hath touched less often than it might 

At thy fair mountain havens, which do glow 
With such a wealth of hues in this clear light. 

IV. 

Oft a a poet, feeble at my craft, 

Did I seek shelter in Helvellyn's fame, 

And, with poor fraud, on my dull verses graft 
Fresh sound and fulness from his mighty name. 



LOUGHRIGG. 2(i5 

V. 

Yet it were hard if this most wondrous dawn, 
With its whole sheet of purest sunlight, thrown 

From the blue laughing skies o'er thy rough lawn, 
Cold bubbling brook, and lichen-written stone 

VI. 

Yes it were hard, if such an hour at least 
Laid not on me some little tax of song, 

For thee, the table where, as at a feast, 

All the rich kinds of mountain beauty throng. 

VII. 

Thou art a world in miniature, a land 

Wrought with such curious toil, us a' in mirth 

Nature had thrown thee from her dexterous hand 
To be a sportive model of the earth. 

VIII. 

All made by laws, green cleft and sinuous path 
Cross, like great mountain outlets, every way ; 

And the long outline, which thy summit hath, 
Mimics rude Alp and splintered Himalay : 

IX. 

Or like a Cross to Christians thou mayest seem, 
With thy four points to lake or river bent, 

Sunk ia n font, and luring Heaven to gleam 
On thee through that redeeming element. 

x. 

When first I saw thee, butterworts had set 
Their sickly stars about thy hundred springs, 

With one blue flower apiece, content to let 

The fresh fern fan them with its neighboring wings. 



266 LOUGHRIGG. 

XI. 
The fern was like green dust upon the hill, 

Which vernal winds might almost blow away ; 
But it changed dresses with the months at will, 

And with the cold its fashions grew more gay. 

xn. 
Ne'er have I felt the might of morning rest 

Its cold fresh welcome half so strong and free, 
As on thy heathy side and windy crest, 

Except in early daybreaks out at sea. 

XIII. 

Oft, o'er the noonday woods, on thy west crown 
My rhyming fancy woodland visions weaves, 

Till, with old boyish impulse darting down, 
I plunge and lose myself among the leaves. 

XIV. 

Thy southern scars, all masked with oak-wood bowers, 
Like feudal dwellings, mouldering whitely, shine 

Through the soft nights of summer, as the tower 
In the deep yellow moonlight on the Rhine. 

xv. 

To winter's cold-eyed sun, o'er snowy drifts, 
That scriptural tree, the juniper, doth lean, 

While many a patch of wannest silver shifts 

O'er the strange dazzling sheet of white and green. 

XVI. 

One rainy summer, often as I stood 

Within yon churchyard, gazing on thy side, 

One brow of thine with an incessant flood 
Of fruitful sunlight rose in gleamy pride. 



THE WORLD'S WAKE. 267 

XVII. 

Let the wet skies be loaded e'er so much, 

That lighting up no dreary mist could swage : 

Care might as soon efface the angelic touch 
On the bright brow of sanctified old age. 

XVIII. 

Many a calm fancy and sweet-sounding word 
To thee, dear Loughrigg ! do of right belong ; 

And, though thy name of softness be unheard, 
Thou of all mountains art mine undersong. 

XIX. 

In tempted times, when my weak soul did need 
More than earth's props and stays, I fled to thee ; 

And in thy sunken haunts I now may read 
The secrets of my own biography. 

xx. 

O may no wind wake up for other ears 

The sad confessions trusted to thy keeping ; 

But, for the Cross that pardons and the tears 

That win us grace, dear mountain, leave them sleeping ! 



XCIV. 
THE WORLD'S WAKE. 

'TWERE a choice lot if my poor thoughts could make 
By meditative power a separate boat, 
Wherein their master and themselves might float, 
Some little way behind, in this world's wake. 
Now, as it swerves and rocks along its course 
Over smooth seas with new-discovered force, 



268 SCEXERY HUNTING. 

I in my boat would follow, uttering 

From out the bosom of a quiet time 

Words of most warning sweetness, shreds of rhyme 

Scarce to be heard for ocean's murmuring! 

And some few gentle ones upon the deck, 

Who heard my song and loved it, might make moan, 

When a rough wave, that made my bark a wreck, 

Left the gray sea and glistening wake alone. 



xcv. 

IN-DOORS AND OUT-OF-DOORS. 

THERE are three gifts apart, whereby good men 
Do good unto their fellows. Some can press 
Power out of heartless books with subtle pen, 
Through steadfast years of in-doors weariness. 
Others there are, who in the outward fret 
Of states and towns with their best wealth at war, 
With help from heaven, have kept the world as yet 
From working towards its doom too fast or far. 
And there are some whose lives are out-of-doors, 
In hopeful spots the Cross and Keys applying, 
Unfastening there from Earth's green shining floors 
The ponderous curse that hath so long been lying 
O'er its hushed fields, bewildering heathen guess 
With intricate, unmeaning loveliness. 



XCVI. 
SCENERY HUNTING. 

LIGHT multitudes ! O spare the weary seas, 
That like tired subjects bear you year by year. 



TO A PUPIL. 269 

Europe stands wondering on her spacious quays, 
With face half-doubting whether smile or tear 
Would fittest greet the Englishman's disease. 
Strange people! flung like spray from summer tides 
In leafy places and o'er green hill-sides ! 
Substance fades off to form ; each glorious thing, 
Wherein ancestral wisdom was enshrined, 
Whereto imaginative power might cling 
With Christian hold, is shed upon the wind. 
Man, made of earth, from earth will strive to bring 
O'er his dull lifetime the receding light 
Of the Eternal and the Infinite. 



XCVII. 
TO A PUPIL. 

BROTHER ! we left the port of our new birth 
At different times ; yet hath our coasting been 
Along a lovely quarter of the earth, 
Where the calm bays are blue, and sea-banks green. 
Now, be it cloudy time or shining weather, 
Our barks are anchored for a while together. 
Somewhat in river mouths have I been taught 
With inland winds for teachers, somewhat too, 
Belike less heeded, from old volumes brought 
By angel hands to give me nature's clue. 
By gentlest incantations round thee thrown, 
Come, let me tinge thy spirit with mine own, 
With more of sweetness, lest life's toils should press 
Thine over-docile heart and masculine loveliness. 



270 THE DEATH OF RICHARD'S TREE. 



XCVIIL 
RICHARD'S TREE. 

WATERPARK, CONISTON. 

BY what strange lure are thy free spirits bound, 
With thy bare feet and wonder-smitten face, 
Close to this mountain ash, as if to trace 
Thine infant foot-prints in the grass around? 
Ah ! little Boy, since thine unsteady pace 
Wore round its guiding stem a yellow ring, 
Hot sun and dewy moon have clothed the place 
Anew with their alternate visiting. 
Even through eight thin years there is a past, 
Which speaketh to thee in thy childish spirit, 
And thy fresh soul hath mighty shadows cast 
From the dark store our nature doth inherit. 
Long may this tree, unpruned for thy dear sake, 
Wave to the merry splashing of the lake ! 



XCIX. 
THE DEATH OF RICHARD'S TREE. 

WATERPARK, CONISTON. 

WHY comest thou to me, young questioner, 
Why comest thou with sorrow-stricken look? 
Of what dread omen in old nature's book 
Enquirest thou the meaning from the seer? 



WRITTEN IN CONWAY CASTLE. 271 

From out yon sapless tree thy mother earth 
Speaks to thee, Child, and with no voice of mirth. 
Life grows around thee and upon thee, deep 
And broad and mighty ; and the time hath come 
When childhood pure can be no more a home, 
A covert where the soul may hide and sleep. 
Yet still now dry thy tears this comfort take : 
Thou shalt keep childhood's heart with manhood's soul ; 
There shall be pauses from life's stern control 
When thou shalt hear the old mirth of the lake. 



C. 
WRITTEN IN CONWAY CASTLE. 

ENGLAND ! thy strifes are written on thy fields 

In grim old characters, which studious time 

Wears down to beauty, while green nature yields 

Soft ivy-veils to clothe gray holds of crime, 

And hides war's prints with spring-flowers that might 

wave 

Their pale sweet selves upon a martyr's grave. 
Here hath the ploughshare of the Conquest worn 
The furrowed moat around a cruel tower ; 
There York's white roses fringe in blameless scorn 
The ledge of some Lancastrian lady's bower. 
Least, for my country's sake, may I regret 
The fruitful angers, and good blood that ran 
So hot from Royalist and Puritan, 
Which in our very soil is red and throbbing yet. 



272 THE MENAI BRIDGE. 



CL 
OLD-FASHIONED HOUSES. 

FOR A LADY FOND OF OLD FURNITURE. 

SWEET are old Courts with dates above the doors, 
And yew-trees clipped in shapes, and cedar walks, 
And lawns whereon a quiet peacock stalks, 
And leaden casements, and black shining floors, 
And arm-chairs carved like gbod cathedral stalls, 
And huge French clocks, and bedsteads most invitiag, 
And stiff old ladies hung upon the walls, 
Famed in the days of English Memoir-writing : 
Places whose very look kind thoughts might draw 
E'en to Anne Stuart or William of Nassau. 
Sweeter than Tudor-stricken shrines are they, 
With pleasant grounds and rivers lingering by, 
Quaint homes, that shed a pure, domestic ray 
O'er the dull time of English history. 



GEL 

THE MENAI BRIDGE. 

FAIREST of rocky England's channel-gates! 

With what a blessed calm to the main ocean 

The ebbing tide, with silent under-motion, 

Upward is drawn along thy weedy Straits ! 

The glossy water, shot with blue and green, 

Throws off the sunlight, like the restless throat 

Of some vain dove ; and ships, methinks, might float, 



SNOWDON. 273 

Trusting the deep in places so serene. 
Thus wreathed in folds of summer billow, who 
Would deem old tales of wreck and tempest true, 
Where you vast Marvel, like an albatros^ 
Still springing upward, as it seems, in air, 
Spreads in light grandeUr his huge wings across, 
Self-poised in momentary balance there ? 



cm. 

CHURCH POSTURES. 

YE would not sit at ease while meek men kneel 
Did ye but see His face shine through the veil, 
And the unearthly forms that round you steal, 
Hidden in beauteous light, splendent or pale 
As the rich Service leads. And prostrate faith 
Shroudeth her timorous eye, while through the air 
Hovers and hangs the Spirit's cleansing Breath 
In Whitsun shapes o'er each true worshipper. 
Deep wreaths of Angels, burning from the East, 
Around the consecrated Shrine are braced, 
The awful Stone where by fit hands are placed 
The Flesh and Blood of the tremendous Feast. 
But kneel the priest upon the Altar-stair 
Will bring a blessing out of Sion there. 



CIV. 
SNOWDON, 

IN THE PASS OF I.LANBERIS. 

HOLDING by this rude crag I stay to listen, 
Where the white noonday moon looks o'er the steep, 
18 



274 NIGHTS FOR POETS. 

And sheets of mountain water hang and glisten, 
Catching the sun far up in their long leap. 
Snowdon's whole range is rocking in the wind, 
Ridges and splintered caves and lifeless vales, 
Calling forth mighty sounds, while they unbind 
The echoing chords of this vast harp of Wales. 
Forget not Whom the winds forth-shadow ! Hark, 
How the huge hills take up in hollows dark 
The clang from these distracted caverns tossed, 
Till the brave eagles in their holds have trembled, 
Crouching and screaming to the choir assembled 
Round this dread Altar of the Holy Ghost. 



CV. 

NIGHTS FOR POETS, 
i. 

Is night fairest among mountains 

And by the rushy lea, 
Or cradled on the fountains 

Of the unpolluted sea ? 

n. 
Does moonlight come most brightly 

Unto the white-faced steep, 
Or when it wanders lightly 

In sweet paths o'er the deep ? 

in. 
Are stars most pure when making 

Jewels for mountain crest, 
Or with their shadows shaking 

In ocean's pearly breast ? 



SOFTLY THE SHIPS DO SAIL. 275 

IV. 
Is darkness grander covering 

A mountain's hollow dells, 
Than when it droopeth hovering 

Upon the broad sea-swells? 

v. 
Be it mountain, be it ocean, 

When night comes on the earth, 
If a river's quiet motion 

Be near me with its mirth. 

VI. 

Can any toil be sweeter 

Than for me to lie and dream, 
And have my time and metre 

Made for me by a stream ? 

VII. 

Then all night's gentle seemings 

Into my sleep I take, 
And a long night's pleasant dreamings 

Are poems when I wake. 



CVI. 
SOFTLY THE SHIPS DO SAIL. 

TO MY MOTHER. 
I. 

SOFTLY the ships do sail, 

Dipping in the billow, 
Now that the weary gale 

Findeth there its pillow. 



276 SOFLY THE SHIPS DO SAIL. 

II. 

The sea doth lift its plain, 
Tremulous and shining ; 

Like threads upon the main 
Glossy wakes are twining. 

in. 
In twilight rings the calm 

Binds the current's motion, 
While evening's inland balm 

Quivers on the ocean. 

IV. 

Such calms, such heavenly air 
Soothe my spirit often, 

When thy kind eyes are there 
Chafing thoughts to soften. 

v. 

By this transparent sea 
Have I many an even 

Waited to catch from thee 
Images of heaven. 

VI. 

My heart hath oft the while 
Ceased its very beating, 

At thine infrequent smile, 
Beautifully fleeting. 

VII. 

Mother ! in such deep times 

My heart's harp have I fingered, 

And words in choicest rhymes 
Backwardly have lingered. 



SOFTLY THE SHIPS DO SAIL. 277 

VIII. 

For when I love thee most, 

Words seem little loving, 
And golden hours are lost 

In unwise improving. 

IX. 

Mother ! why is it hard 

For pardon to be pleading ? 
And why is my heart barred, 

When thine, alas ! is bleeding ? 

x. 

O whisper in my ears, 

Thy heart for me is aching ! 
Else why those chiding tears 

In sunshine showers breaking ? 

XI. 

Ah ! now my eyes are wet, 

Hot words must be spoken, 
For, if they loiter yet, 

Heart-strings will be broken. 

XII. 

But why am I to thee 

All in all, my mother? 
And why art thou to me 

Like a sister to a brother ? 



278 THE FOUR RELIGIOUS HEATHENS. 



cvn. 

WELSH VALLEYS. 

BY mountain-pass and long stone-sprinkled alley, 
Through sweet vicissitudes of barrenness, 
Our pathway lies, with scarce a tree to bless 
The worn wayfarer in the noonday valley. 
My months have many turns like these, and each 
Seems to drop down to lowlands broad and winning; 
But the hills hold them upward : will they reach 
Ere night the promise of their green beginning ? 
Thus my young life its own poor image takes 
From bleak Caernarvon's small, unwooded lakes. 
A man with many homes hath none to spare. 
Though he beget in calm, rock-shaded places 
Welcomes, farewells, joys, griefs, and soothing faces, 
There is no echo to them in the air. 



CVIII. 
THE FOUR RELIGIOUS HEATHENS. 

"Arise, O Lord, let not man be strengthened : let the gentiles be judged in 
Thy sight." Ps. ix. 20. 



1. 

HERODOTUS. 



-, 



" Converse in fear, during the time of your sojourning here." 

HE was a mild old man, and cherished much 
The weight dark Egypt on his spirit laid ; 



THE FOUR RELIGIOUS HEATHENS. 279 

And with a sinuous eloquence would touch 
For ever at that haven of the dead. 
Single romantic words by him were thrown, 
As types, on men and places, with a power 
Like that of shifting sunlight after shower 
Kindling the cones of hills, and journeying on. 
He feared the gods and heroes, and spake low, 
That echo might not hear in her light room : 
He was a dweller underground ; for gloom 
Fitted old heathen goodness more than glow ; 
And, where love was not, faith might gather mirth 
From ore that glistened in pale beds of earth. 



2. 
NICIAS. 

" In all these things Job sinned not by his lips, nor spoke he 
any foolish things against God." 

NURSLING of heathen fear ! thy woful being 

Was steeped in gentleness by long disease, 

Though round thine awestruck mind were ever fleeing 

Omens, and signs, and direful presages. 

One might believe in frames so gently stern, 

Some Christian thoughts before their time did burn. 

Sadness was unto thee for love : thy spirit 

Rose loftily like some hard-featured stone, 

Which summer sunbeam never makes its throne, 

E'en while it fills the skirts of vapor near it. 

One wert thou, Nicias ! of the few who urge 

Their stricken souls where far-seen death doth hover 

In vision on them, nor may they diverge 

From the black line his chilling shadows cover. 



280 THE FOUR RELIGIOUS HEATHENS. 

3. 

SOCKATES. 

"Of making many books there is no end; and much 
study is an affliction of the flesh." 

THOU, mighty Heathen ! wert not so bereft 

Of heavenly helps to thy great-hearted deeds, 

That thou shouldst dig for truths in broken creeds, 

'Mid the loose sands of four old empires left. 

Motions and shadows dimly glowing fell 

On thy broad soul from forms invisible. 

With its plain grandeur, simple, calm, and free, 

What wonder was it that thy life should merit 

Sparkles of grace, and angel ministry, 

With jealous glimpses of the world of spirit ? 

Greatest and best in this that thy pure mind, 

Upon its saving mission all intent, 

Scorned the untruth of leaving books behind, 

To claim for thine what through thy lips was sent. 

4. 
SENECA. 

"When Peter came, his shadow at the least might 
overshadow any of them." 

OFT in the crowd and crossings of old Rome 
The Christ-like shadow of the gifted Paul, 
As he looked forth betimes from his hired home, 
Might at this Gentile's hurrying footsteps fall, 
When, from his mornings in the Caesar's hall, 
Spurred by great thoughts, the troubled sage might come. 
Some balmy truths most surely did he borrow 
From the sweet neighborhood of Christ, to bring 



VALE CEUCIS ABBEY. 281 

The harsh, hard waters of his heathen spring 
In softening ducts o'er wastes of pagan sorrow. 
As slips of green from fertile confines shoot 
Into the tracts of sand, so heathen duty 
Caught from his guided pen a cold, bright beauty, 
Where flowers might all but blossom into fruit. 



CIX. 
VALE CRUCIS ABBEY. 

i. 
HERE, where wet winds autumnal rains may fling, 

And pallid ash-trees in the transept lean, 
The gentle-mannered monks were wont to sing 

The Son of God, the Help of the unclean ; 
And, from Cistercian service books, to- hymn 
The blissful Mother, as the nights grew dim. 

ii. 
Here, not unmindful of the public good, 

Dwelt some poor beadsmen of the stainless Mary, 
Bosomed, like monkish spots, in coves of wood, 

That morn and eve, with mystic commentary, 
Might for meek hearts re-join the broken threads, 
Hid in Church books, like ore in jealous beds. 

in. 

And at this hollow, and in vales like this, 
The winds took in good lading, and a freight 

Of precious boons, dispensing balm and bliss, 
Lifting from England's Saxon fields the weight 

Of sins, that sprung in such prolific brood 

From the pervoreeness of her Norman blood. 



282 VALE CRUCIS ABBEY. 



Still, within hearing, at pale matin-time 
There comes a soul into these ruins lone, 

Where the clean-watered Dee his woodland chime 
Steers with sweet skill from rich Edeyrnion, 

Leaving on shady rock and mountain bending 

Shreds of faint echo waked in his descending. 

v. 

Oft, when chill winds the compline hour have tolled, 

The broken East is fairly lighted yet, 
Ever when in yon Gothic marigold 

The harmless moon her full white orb hath set, 
While, on the field beyond, her trembling fire 
Streams mildly through the triple-windowed choir. 

VI. 

Thqa visitor of ruins ! thou mayst come 
To worn portcullis and green-hooded wall, 

Where some rude baron held his festal home 
In moated fortalice or hunting-hall 

There thou mayest come, when placid nights are wearing, 

To learn of earth her art of soft repairing. 

VII. 

But other thoughts and deeper must be thine, 
When by poor abbeys, tightly ivied o'er, 

Thou dream'st that England, leaving Christian shrine. 
Hath turned herself to druid rite once more, 

Feari-ng in wakeful thoughts lest, heathen grown, 

She should not miss the Cross when it is gone. 



A LETTER FROM A FRIEND. 283 



ex. 

ON RECEIVING A LETTER FROM A FRIEND, 

AFTER AN INTERRUPTED CORRESPONDENCE. 
I. 

MORE changes still? And are good hearts like thine 
Bound to the ebbs and flows of common life ? 

Ah ! many a novel thought and random line 

Show where the world hath harmed thee with its strife. 

ii. 

Still thou art victor : on thy pennon still 
The Cross and thorny Chaplet are displayed, 

Though the wet winds of life with evil will 

Perchance have caused its crimson gloss to fade. 

in. 

Somewhat of Christian gracefulness hath past 

From the calm freeness which was thy chief -merit ; 

Sadly unwise it was to make such haste, 
To bring an unripe manhood o'er thy spirit. 

IV. 

In these few lines of thine, a helpless strife, 
Somewhat too much unreal, I can trace 

'Gainst lingering youth ; although thine inner life 
Hath not as yet worked through upon thy face. 



28-i A LETTER FROM A FRIEND. 

V. 

Some men can change their inner lives by power 
Akin to witchcraft's lawless transmutation, 

And, by a shock of feeling, in one hour 
Set their soul's helm to some new constellation. 

VI. 

Ah woe is me ! my life keeps step no more 
With the old happy hearts it most approves ; 

Outstript by all, it hangs upon the shore, 
Taking perpetual leave of boyish loves. 

VII. 

Why ripenest thou thus early ? What rich earth 
Hast thou so lately heaped about thy root ? 

Am I like spendthrift trees in vernal mirth 
That blossom double, and count that for fruit ? 

VIII. 

Like a watched shrub, my secret life is slow, 
Built by the four great Seasons as they pass, 

Curing mine eyes of blindness, while they show 
The unseen world inverted on their glass. 

IX. 

My secret growth is slow, by little caught 

Out on the earth in nights too bright for sleeping, 

From checks and chills, and gentle tempers brought 
By the sweet, soothing sight of others weeping. 

x. 

So, like a forest-tree, screened from the north, 
And, by the Planter's goodness, free from blight ; 

Some shady branches would I fain put forth, 

Where sun and wind the backward leaves invite. 



9 

UP A STREAM OR DOWN. 285 



XI. - 

Thus, to be wetted by the showery breeze, 
Or shined on by the setting sun at even, 

My boughs might then, piercing through other trees, 
O'ertop the wood, and so be free of Heaven. 

XII. 

But, while these fountains of late boyhood run, 
Wasting cool earth and sheltering moss away, 

My boughs, drawn upward by the gracious sun, 
Droop o'er the bole to )ie?r those founiams play. 



CXI. 
UP A STREAM OR DOWN. 

TELL me, young Poet, is it sweeter 
Up to the heads of streams to travel : 

Or do you minstrels deem it meeter 
Their downward flowing to unravel ? 

POET. From moorland well and heathy hollow 
The seaward river thou must follow, 
And trace it slowly till it bend 
To lowlands round a mountain end ; 
Then through tame dell and cultured plain 
Past tidewashed cities to the main. 
There is a moral in its course, 
Its tranquil depth and rocky force, 
Its shining shallows, widening lakes, 
And woody circuits that it takes. 
Yet down the bank must thou descend, 
The moral waits thee at the end : 



286 UP A STREAM OR DOWN. 

For they, who downward rivers trace, 
Look ocean ever in the face ; 
And man, as youth and age run o'er him, 
Hath life behind and death before him. 
The mountain-height where sunset's finger 
Rejoiceth o'er dull glens to linger ; 
The winds that on the moorlands cross, 
Sobbing above the barren moss ; 
The clouds that touch on rainy days, 
Drooping to where the well-spring plays : 
AH these are types of things that reach 
The lonely mind that knows not speech, 
Things that in vision hover by 
The dreary souXof infancy, 
When it lays out, unmarred and even, 
Its little oeing bare to Heaven. 

Then, nurtured in the misty homes 
Of mighty clouds, the current comes, 
Stretching with many a rushy arm 
By copsewood and infrequent farm ; 
And every furlong o'er some steep 
The rainbow-belted waters leap, 
The time ere tumbling rivers pass 
To wind about in corn and grass, 
A time of waste, as cold men deem, 
"When by its banks romancers dream. 
And this is like the fair beginning 
Of boyhood, troublesome and winning, 
Where sunny tempers shine away 
Converse ill-timed and weary play, 
A forward age of noisy beauty 
Before the cloudy dawn of duty ! 



UP A STREAM OR DOWN. 287 

Mark when the water comes to hallow 

Rich meadow-flat and barley fallow, 

And chooses vales with poplar-trees, 

And visits straggling villages, 

Clips the broad green where children play, 

And eats the churchyard earth away. 

Yet, often leaving fruitful plain, 

It seeks lone woody spots again, 

Where every leaf in shadow sleeps 

Unwaked upon the fishy deeps. 

And so, when manhood doth begin 

And toil breeds wealth, and wealth breeds sin, 

How often is the full-grown being 

To childish-looking places fleeing, 

Sweet shelters, where from noontide beams, 

Wise boyhood hides some dewy dreams ; 

For who can see rain-scented woods 

Drying their branches in the sun, 
But strafghtway to the heart whole floods 

Of aimless, rhymeless lyrics run ? 
And fairy fish in silver mails, 
Or girt with moonlight-colored scales, 
Where under-water beds are bright, 
Will glance and gleam and scatter light ; 
Just like the thoughts that leap to life 
In spirits parched with trade and strife, 
When on the surface from below 
Old childish wells break up and flow, 
And cowslips mixed with may-flowers grow. 

Then, where upon some inland bower, 
Salt-tides encroach with brackish power, 
'Tis like the taste that ill-health brings 



288 UP A STREAM OR DCW'X. 

From the broad grave's close-lying springs, 
When age in times of failing breath 
Doth freight itself with thoughts of death. 
And river mouths have shapes so many, 
Narrow and deep, or broad and fenny, 
With rocky bar or easy gate 
Or currents clashing in a strait, 
That thou mayest well in these descry 
The rude or gentle deaths men die. 

Tell me, young Priest ! will it be sweeter 
The downward flowing to unravel, 

Or must we Christians deem it meeter 
Up to the heads of streams to travel ? 

PRIEST. The poet hath blithe answer made ; 
My words must travel more in shade. 
Where less of earth's wild show is given 
There may perchance be more of Heaven. 
Yet priests, like poets, have an eye 
For radiant earth and changeful sky, 
And mightier signs mayhap can trace 
In river-nook and green-wood place. 
The seasons with four currents flowing 
Are all but symbols, coming, going, 
Translucent shades for ever passing, 
Disjointed parts of Eden glassing. 
For it were strange absolving word 
On sinning soul should so be heard, 
Yet have no power to lift from earth 
Green dazzle and bewildering mirth, 
Till she gives up to flesh and spirit 
The secret lore they both inherit, 



UP A STKEAM OR DOWN. 

When in the Font's rich-sparkling round 
The Key with golden wards is found. 

To moorland well and heathy hollow 
The upward river thou must follow, 
Nor stay one hour in tideways brown, 
By granite quay and toiling town ; 
But, mounting on to cultured plain, 
Reached by faint murmurs from the main, 
Urge on, star-guided still by duty, 
Through lands of rough sequestered beauty, 
And rest on eagle-haunted fell 
Where rings of hollow mosses swell, 
And the young streamlets as they rise 
Catch their first tint from mountain skies. 
For they, who streams to fountains trace, 
Look uplands ever in the face, ' 
Leaving Death's type, the ocean gray, 
Inaudible, and leagues away : 
And man, as youth and age run o'er him, 
Hath death behind and life before him. 
Thou cam'st from an eternal womb, 
Timid and tongue-tied from the gloom ; 
Thou walkedst an eternal shore 
And heard'st eternal waters roar, 
And gather'dst shells which thou didst keep, 
And bring with thee from yonder deep. 
And thou thyself, like ocean shell, 
Bearest within thee still a swell, 
Which thy charmed hearing never may 
In dryest inlands put away. 

Ere from that ocean thou didst steer, 
19 



290 UP A STREAM OR DOWN. 

Where beauty walking leaned on fear, 
Some branches of a mystic Tree 
Were cast by prophets in the sea, 
And Angels little cups did bring 
Of cold sweet water from a spring, 
And life went from, the cups, and Breath 
That breathed another face on death. 
Then wert thou taught to .hang and ride, 
Like steadfast fish, against the tide. 
Lifted by wind and lured by gleam 
Upward to wrestle with the stream, 
And with unearthly health to leap 
Each cataract and frothy steep. 
So mayest thou reach thy native fountains, 
Withdrawn into the sleepless mountains, 
Unstained in heats by lowing herd, 
Unsipped by common hedgerow bird, 
A well upon whose unmarred brink 
Eagles alone are free to drink, 
' That they may thence their strength renew 
For wheeling in the pathless blue, 
A Font where thou canst wash away 
The dusty stains of summer day, 
Where health and life still hover by, 
And where alone 'tis safe to die. 

Fair are the plains where corn-fields bend, 
And flowers and grass in meadows blend, 
And calm the smell at eventide 
When breezes o'er the bean-field glide, 
And rich and lulling airs are blent 
At noon from languid clover sent, 
Sweet pauses that at times may hallow 



UP A STEEAM OE DOWN. 291 

The dreary ridge and dusky fallow. 

Yet from these scenes of harmless wealth 

Good men rise upward still for health, 

And slower, for the stream is quickest, 

They mount where copse and heath are thickest, 

The boyish time of rivers, where, 

By heavy dews and keen fresh air, 

Old Heaven with infant splendor seems 

To pass once more into their dreams, 

Late years when out of ancient truth 

The Christian wins a second youth. 

And Christian age full fain will press 

To world-neglected dreariness, 

Where barren hills with naked line, 

Like sabre's dinted edges, shine, 

And lucid shadows calmly brood 

As spirits o'er the solitude ; 

And sight and sound have freedom given 

That hath a very taste of heaven. 

So, gentle questioner ! mayst thou 
Attain thy native mountain-brow, 
And from its ether-cinctured height 
Look into lands of promised light. 
Then to the Font beneath descend, 
And o'er its tranquil pulses bend, 
Recovering from its dewy earth 
What life hath marred of childhood's mirth. 
When evening shadows round thee glide 
Death will come calmly to thy side, 
Sent, with light hand, low voice, to gather 
The children back unto their Father. 
With gentle sob drawn in once more 



292 TO THE MEMORY OF A TOWN-PE^T MAN. 

That spring upon another shore 
Shall rise, as fresh as waters vernal, 
With spirit-pulses, and eternal. 
Come, tipward walk to moorlands gray, 

Where springs gush out from. mountain root, 
There let thy being sink away 

Beneath the Font's stone-sculptured foot. 
And, like waste water from its round, 
Be poured on consecrated ground. 



CXII. 
TO THE MEMORY OF A TOWN-PENT MAX. 

FAREWELL, kind Spirit ! Like a summer cloud 

With no ungentle gloom hath death come down 

All calmly on the sunshine of old age : 

And now thou sleepest. From the far-off land 

Of hills and rivers thou didst love in youth, 

Perchance upon thy dying ear there fell 

Voices and mystic sounds with cadence strange, 

That spoke in thrilling echoes of the time 

Of youth's high breathings, manhood's energies. 

Or thoughts, long since forgotten, then came in, 

Came through the obscure posterns of the soul, 

And thy strong frame was stirred ; and in thine eyes 

There went and came a childlike simpleness ; 

While ever and anon a heavenly light 

(Such would I deem the birthplace of those looks 

That pass upon the features of the sick) 

Flashed forth in broken gleams, chasing away 

The films of death ; even like the voiceless breeze 



TO THE MEMORY OF A TOWN-PENT MAN. 293 

That comes with twilight shadows from the hills, 
Dimpling the lucid breast of some deep lake. 

Thy lot was hard, benevolent Old Man ! 
Most hard indeed ! Thou wouldst have pitched thy tent, 
(A simple tent as for an out-door man, 
A man. of the fresh air and merry skies) 
Where some lone streamlet wells from out its urn 
Of moss-clad rock, there gladly listening 
The quiet music of the mountain winds ; 
And tuning thy full soul to such high themes 
As most befit aja ardent worshipper 
At nature's inmost shrine ; and feeding thence 
Thy natural cheerfulness with those fair forms 

That move in peaceful gladness on the earth, 
Or float like golden vapors through the air, 
Mutely, yet not without significance. 

Thy lot was hard, benevolent Old Man ! 
Thou of the quiet eye and frolic tongue ! 
Most hard indeed ! Within the city pent, 
That huge and troublous city, thou didst walk 
A cheerless exile from thine own bright land. 
There thy soul sickened at man's selfishness : 
Thy heart recoiled upon itself; for men 
Knew not the language that it spake : they spurned 
Those striving hopes and phantasies and loves, 
Which were thy real world ; for thou hadst been 
A priest in nature's temple, while the crowd 
Were hurrying on to those dull clamorous halls, 
Where cold suspicion hath usurped the throne, 
The ancient throne of wisdom, and hath taught 
Her baneful lessons of distrust and pride, 
And severed all our old ancestral bonds, 
Whereby deep social love was symbolized, 



294 TO THE MEMORY OP A TOWX-PEXT MAN. 

And in the bosom of our social state 
Somewhat of moral grandeur was detained. 

All this was heavy on thee, mild Old Man ! 
A mournful gloom was round thy spirit hung, 
Of which the dusky veil of that great town 
Were no inapt resemblance : yet not so 
Wert thou a man to shun the company 
Of thy less gifted brethren ; though thy soul 
Yearned for the open fields and liberal air 
To wander, fancy's freeman. As the sun, 
That struggles all day long with autumn fogs, 
Shrouds in a misty mantle his bright form, 
iThen darts his evening splendors far and wide 
O'er hill and dale ; so from thy spirit's gloom 
A native gaiety of heart broke forth 
With a most happy lustre, which dispelled 
The clouds of sadness gathered on thy brow. 

But no man hath a lot of unmixed ill ; 
And thou hadst surely much of tranquil mirth, 
And many quaint enjoyments, shared by none, 
And instincts of a wisely wayward kind, 
And ill-assorted sympathies, from whose 
Strange medley thou couldst moral order bring. 
Thine was a quiet heart ; clear thoughtfulness 
Was visible upon that open brow. 
For kindly nature never did forget 
Her worshipper, but sent unto his soul, 
Ay, even in the jostling of the streets, 
Impulses, such as on the mountain tops 
In early youth he had received, or felt 
In wandering amid forest sanctities, 
When not a leaf in the green depths was stirred. 
Thus, as he walked along the crowded streets, 



TO THE MEMORY OF A TOWN-PENT MAN. 295 

He was not of the crowd, as many more 

Perchance were not, by hopeless love assailed, 

Or by fresh sorrow severed from the herd, 

Or holy errand. For all-powerful love, 

Grandeur, and her twin-sister beauty, there 

Were with him. From her ancient classic haunts 

Ideal grace was summoned to attend. 

And, wheresoe'er he moved, voices and forms, 

Voices most deeply musical, and forms 

Of dazzling brightness, fell on his pleased ear, 

And floated in calm pomp before his eyes. 

And he was thankful too for many a gift 
Which nature ministered in that dull town : 
Green trees in nooks where green trees should not be, 
The sun upon the high housetops, the vanes 
Of the tall churches struck with merry rays, 
Bright creatures in a region of their own 
The bubbling of cold water, and the gleam, 
Half sad, half sunny, of the morning Thames. 
Nay, we have that within ourselves, from which 
We can create the world without, wherewith 
Sorrow doth make her hills and trees and streams, 
And joy and hope their other hills and streams. 

Oh happy, thus companioned as thou wert, 
Thus visited, thus solaced, thus endowed ! 
How shall I liken thee, kind spirit ! thou 
A separated being among men, 
A foreigner among wild squares and streets, 
And raised on high above the ebb and flow 
Of city life ! Upon the crowded quays, 
Where hearts are turned to stones, still visited 
By feelings and by thoughts that come from far, 
And are eternal, in the which a seed 



296 TO THE MEMORY OF A TOWN-PENT MAX. 



Of endless, immaterial life is laid 

Unrecognized thou still did-st walk along. 

Once I remember when the breathing land 

Was ringing with the early voice of spring, 

The valleys still in night's most sable hues 

Were steeped ; but one huge, awful peak, that stood 

A kingly eminence above the rest, 

I then beheld all diademed with light, 

Crowned with the sunrise, marvellously crowned ; 

And clouds with yellow hems hung round its brow, 

Vestments of the unseen ambassadors 

From the great sun to earth : so too wert thou : 

Thou hadst mysterious messages and songs 

Come to thee from a distant realm of dreams ; 

And delicate creations from thee sprang 

Graceful and radiant as the clouds at dawn. 

Farewell, Old Man ! For I may call thee' old, 
Though time's soft, onward flight had not yet reached 
The limit of our days. The seasons four, 
That on the shining pathway of the year 
Glide forward in their magical array, 
Had many moons to fill before the term 
Named for the life of man. Still thou wert old, 
Aged before the time with such old age 
As the sick heart best knows, when chilling frosts 
Have nipped the bud that promised once so much, 
And struck the trustful blossom from the bough. 
Years onward fly ; but what heart heeds the flight ? 
It keeps its own sad calendar, and marks 
Its powers grow dull, its feelings intermit. 
May I not call him old, who called his life 
A dream, and yet outlived that dream? AVho lived 
In a fair land of visions, and whose eye 



IN THE SCHELDT. 297 

Saw that fair land no more? Was he not old ? 

I dare not to regret thee, mild Old Man ! 
For a cold void was in thy heart ; and thou 
Didst vainly strive by means not sanctified 
To win oblivion of thy lot. A cloud 
Passed on thy gentle spirit ; thou didst yearn 
To make thy blood run boundingly again, 
And oft didst catch in weak-willed eagerness 
At the receding, many-colored veil, 
That severed the hard-featured world and thee. 
Surely upon thy spirit there had come, 
As on a little child fresh in the world, 
Curious perplexity from sights and sounds, 
A consciousness thou didst not S2e aright. 
But now thou sleepest in the dewy earth, 
And He, who suffered for thee, bids us hope 
With a consoling faith that all is well. 

Farewell, meek Heart ! Great Nature's voice is heard, 
And all the thousand strings of her deep lyre, 
Sounding a dirge-like song : low-breathing winds 
Are making plaintive music in the woods, 
And the clouds cluster round the bleak hill-tops 
In stately sorrow, bidding man lament 
In cheerful awe, and put more trust in God ! 



CXIII. 

IN THE SCHELDT, 
i. 

WE lay in the dreary Scheldt all night 
With a bleak south-wester blowing, 
And we talked of ghosts by the fitful light 
Of the wood-fire redly glowing. 



298 IN THE SCHELDT. 

II. 

I could not sleep, for very deep 
The words sank in my spirit ; 
And at that hour tales had power 
Above their own true merit. 

ni. 

The waves were high on the sandbanks nigh, 

And the dismal river flowing, 

And a muttering sound from the swampy ground, 

Like the murmur of babes, was blowing ; 

And the only mirth of the household earth 

Were the cocks in Flushing crowing. 

IV. 

I cannot boast that a white wan ghost 
To me seems an idle error ; 
For deep in me, as the deep, deep sea, 
Are the fountains of holy terror. 

v. 

I knew when I heard the stormy bird 
All round about us crying, 
That spirits strong were riding along 
To the beds of sinners dying. 

VI. 

O Angels bright ! what an angry night 
Is this for the powers of evil ; 
And thousands there, in the blustering air, 
Are keeping unholy revel. 



TO MY INDIAN SISTER. 299 

VII. 

The good might cross themselves for fear, 
As they heard the seabirds yelling, 
And the chattering voicelike sounds that came 
On the breath of the tempest swelling. 

VIII. 

Though well they know good Angels go 
The Saints from harm to cover, 
And by their beds around their heads. 
With wings of glory hover. 

IX. 

O may they keep us in our sleep 
To-night on this savage river, 
And, for their Master's sake, our souls 
From the spirits of ill deliver ! 






CXIV. 

TO MY INDIAN SISTER, 
i. 

A BLESSING on thee, Sister dear ! 
A blessing ! whether far or near, 
In city bright or desert drear 

Thy path may lie, 
Since we may not detain thee here 

Beneath our sky. 



300 TO MY INDIAN SISTER. 

II. 

Yet ah ! that thou with us couldst be ! 
For England's homes are fair to see, 
And most our northern homes to me 

All brightly shine 
Still brighter when enjoyed with thee 

Sweet love ! and thine. 

in. 

Each season has its tale to tell, 
Like pleasant chimes upon a bell ; 
And memory feeds on what befell 

In days departed, 
When thou wert laughing, bright, and well, 

And careless-hearted. 

IV. 

The summer came with leafy May, 
And sweetly sank the summer day 
On ruined Finchale's abbey grey 

And its tall woods, 
And brightly did the sunbeams play 

On Weare's wild floods. 

v. 

And holy Durham's minster fair, 
A crown of yellow rays did wear, 
And we beheld with rapture there, 

By sunset's powers 
Transfigured in the radiant air, 

The two west towers. 



SUNLIGHT AND MOONLIGHT. 301 

VI. 

seldom, seldom upon earth . 
Doth one short evening bring to birth 
Such innocence and yet such mirth, 

As then were mine : 

1 never knew a light heart's worth 

Till I knew thine ! 

VII. 

Oft on the mind a day like this 
Rests with a moonlight thought of bliss, 
Softly as lies a mother's kiss 

On childhood's brow ; 
I little thought how I should miss 

My sister now ! 

VIII. 

God bless thy little ones and thee, 
And blessed may thy True Love be ! 
Far as thou art across the sea, 

My prayers shall rise, 
Prayers that shall bring thee back to see 

Our English skies ! 



cxv. 

SUNLIGHT AND MOONLIGHT. 

SUNLIGHT and Moonlight ! these two glories reach 
Into our souls from our first day and night ; 
And we live afterwards on what they teach, 
Finding our way by their two kinds of light. 
Our Sunlight is the steadfast radiance cast 



302 THE ECHO ON OXENFELL. 

Thro' true church-windows, lustrous and unfading, 
Where Creed and Rite thro' life give light, and last. 
But that sweet Moon, that perils oft our lading, 
Lures the good ship astray, then sinks hard by, 
Leaving gray water where its light was thrown ; 
Or hangs, midway between the sea and sky, 
O'er some fair earthly haven of its own. 
Love is the Moonlight of our lives, and takes 
All hearts to the soft shadows that it makes. 



CXVI. 
THE ECHO ON OXENFELL. 

A MO HAL. 



MY Sister ! do not deem me rude, 
If I have turned my head aside 
Nor to thy loving words replied 

In this hill solitude. 

n. 

Darkness all round us deeply presses ; 
No starlight wavers to the earth , 
No breeze is born of moonlight mirth 

To part night's cloudy tresses. 

in. 
No sound comes to us from the steep, 

No watercourse is speaking now ; 

The very nightbirds on the bough 
Forget themselves and sleep. 



THE ECHO ON OXENFELL. 303 

IV. 

The sky above of gloomiest blue 

Doth seein to pause above the heath, 
And, lest it wake some grassy breath, 

Withholds her gift of dew. 

v. 

Silence herself sweet sound desires, 
And with her heavy hush is mingling 
Somewhat of an impatient tingling, 

Like cords of shaken lyres. 

VI. 

Poor echo round each hollow stone 
In this dark desert space is feeling 
For every noise that might come stealing 

For her to feed upon. 

VII. 

Thou with thy words my name didst twine, 
My Christian name, a sound the sweetest, 
And of all names for echo meetest, 

When breathed by lips like thine. 

VIII. 

I heard the stir thy whispers made, 
And paused to see if on the heath 
Echo would find that wandering breath, 

Half glad and half afraid. 

IX. 

I thought perchance my name might wake 
In airy places echo's soul, 
The dull-eyed midnight to console 

With sounds from bush and brake. 



304 THE ECHO OX OXENFELL. 

X. 

And yet I had a fluttering fear, 
Lest wicked echo on the air 
To all the lakes my name should bear, 

And tell that we were here. 

XI. 

First it would have a rocky sound, 
And then a trembling leafy tone, 
And harsh again by rugged stone, 

And up from underground. 

XII. 

And so from wood and heath and hollow, 
Striking in single notes and double, 
With babbling speed the breezy trouble 

Cliff-side and brook would follow. 

XIII. 

And ere the dawn could dapple heaven, 

Old men and boys might catch the tale, 
, From Harter Fell to Ennerdale, 

From Bassenthwaite to Leven. 

XIV. 

Yet what did peevish echo do ? 
She sate on every heap of stone, 
And let those syllables alone, 

As they went floating through. 

xv. 

And now a gleam came up the lea, 
And as the tardy moon was rising, 

I murmured silently, advising 
Myself much more than thee, 



CARL BITTER. 305 

XVI. 

What thing less heeded can we find 
By all mankind than selfish Self? 
Echo will teach us, wayward elf! 

That same Self by mankind ! . 



CXVIL 
CARL RITTER. 

i. 
O HADST thou seen Carl Ritter, wan and pale, 

Walking at eve with melancholy mien, 
Drinking the music of the nightingale, 

With fierce delight, where on the current green 
Of Leipsic's moat the water-lilies sail 

In snowy fleets, thou wouldst have burned, I ween, 
To know somewhat of the sad history 
Of that wild foot-step and dejected eye. 

ii. 

Love who could doubt it? in his being wrought 
Hotly and hopelessly ; and he had rued, 

But all too late, the passion's sultry drought, 

Which dried youth's wells that cannot be renewed. 

And there he walks, or rather runs, by thought, 
Like old Actseon by his dogs, pursued ; 

So is it ever : love-sick hearts confound 

The world within them with the world around. 

in. 
How bright is evening on the battle-plain 

Which spreads round Leipsic like a misty sea ! 
20 



306 CARL HITTER. 

A thousand larks drop down into the grain, 
Foregoing one by one their minstrelsy : 

Sickness and age returns of strength might gain 
From objects, all so tranquil and so free ; 

But for the ills of unrequited love 

There is no balm, but mercy from above. 



See how the rose and eglantine are threading 
Through all the openings in the acacia leaves ! 

The massive chestnuts their v white flowers are shedding 
On the still moat ; the red verbena weaves 

Mats for the lawn we are so rudely treading : 
Nought in this garden, save Carl Bitter, grieves, 

And he is not from his unquiet wooed 

By the sweet sights wherewith he is pursued. 

v. 

O evening ! softest power ! hast thou no wind 
From violet bank or trellised rose no sigh, 

Which might this clasping load of thought unbind, 
Touching some other, brighter memory, 

Or lingering of pure childhood in his mind, 
To quell the wildfire of that gentle eye ? 

See how he flits, as though this garden glade 

Elysium were, and he a pensive shade. 

VI. 

The moon-beam sleeps upon the dusky grass, 
And with kind equity brings out to light 

Daisies, in constellations, which did pass 

Unnoticed when more showy things were bright, 



CARL BITTER. 307 

And each time that you look again, the mass 

Is clearer grown, more silvery and more white ; 
Still round and round, and by the slimy moat, 
Mid trees and flowers Carl Ritter seems to float. 

VII. 

Student ! when wilt thou go unto thy books, 
Or dost thou peace in these calm shades discover ? 

See how with brushing 'gainst the lilac nooks, 
Thy dress with blossoms is besprent all over ! 

How still ! save now and then among the rooks 
From bough to bough one, restless, seems to hover. 

Yet, in and out, like some dusk-pinioned bird, 

Carl sails with footsteps scarcely to be heard. 

I 

VIII. 

There is a square in Leipsic, to the west, 
A sunny place with soft acacias planted, 

With one quaint gable taller than the rest, 
Which Carl inhabited, or rather haunted ; 

With telescopes and some few volumes blest, 
The love-sick man had all in life he wanted ; 

For where love rules, there is in heart and eye 

A constant, if not true, simplicity. 

IX. 

Hither, when midnight three full hours was passed, 
And starlight had grown weary and outworn, 

And when the moat by blue mist could be traced 
Among the lilac thickets, Carl was borne, 

By impulse, rather than by will at last, 

Cold and fatigued, and therefore less forlorn. 

The sharp sound of the key within the lock, 

Shook the still square with momentary shock. 



308 CARL RITTER. 

x. 

The sun is up ; the larks are in full choir ; 

How perfectly they sing how perfectly ! 
And o'er the champaign many a hazy spire 

Shoots up from out the undulating sea 
Of the green corn ; and wavering, like a fire, 

Far off there is a single chestnut tree ; 
There will I tell what I of Carl have heard 
In triple falls of rhyme, and simple word. 

XI. 

And in the pauses of the song we may 

Be soothed to meditation by the bees, 
While the blue sky between the leaves doth play, 

Parted and closed at will by this soft breeze : 
And Leipsic, with red roofs and turrets gay, 

Blended with churches, ramparted with trees, 
May seem a show more touching and more fair, 
Because that stricken heart is drooping there. 

XII. 

There, mid his books, Carl withers like a flower, 
Alternately by love consumed, and ruth 

That he should so have wasted hour by hour 
The fresh and genial faculties of youth, 

Which ever draw their beauty and all power 
From cheerfulness, the foster-child of truth. 

They who, when young, are spendthrifts of sweet sadness, 

Lose unawares the spring of later gladness. 

xiii. 

Yet Carl, as they who knew him best could say, 
In middle life was not an idle man ; 



GAEL HITTER. 309 

Philology half filled his studious day, 

And eastern grammars would he fondly scan ; 

While with the suffering poor his heart found play 
In many a kind device and secret plan. 

Thus did he light's best hours for duty keep, 

And gave to love but what he stole from sleep. 

XIV. 

At Madgeburg, within the Minster-yard, 
From the great tawny Elbe not far remote, 

There stands a house detached ; the eye is barred 
All access to thaf jealous shaded spot, 

Whose habitants are kept in pleasant ward 
In the small ring of their close garden-plot ; 

And there the murmur of the neighboring quay 

Dwells, like the humming of a drowsy bee. 

xv. 

If privileged to enter, you might see 

How the laburnum its gilt pendants swung 

All inwards to a sweet-breathed walnut tree, 
To which a trumpet honeysuckle clung, 

And up whose stem the turf crept amorously, 
Framing a mossy slope, on which was flung 

A drooping shade, with leafy curtains drawn 

All round, a natural tent upon the lawn. 

XVI. 

It was a lowly place, a sylvan home 

Within the city ; and there Blanca dwelt, 

Carl's widowed mother, and to her had come 
A friend of early years, one who had felt 



310 CARL HITTER. 

t 
The same bereavement ; and they two would roam 

Through the cool minster's aisles, and often knelt, 
The only week-day worshippers, alone, 
Screened from chance eyes by some sepulchral stone. 

xvir. 
And in the morning, punctual to the hour 

When o'er the lawn the minster's shade was cast, 
The two meek dames, like seamen with no power 

To leave the deck, their narrow garden paced. 
At sunset Blanca watered every flower, 

Always the trumpet honeysuckle last, 
While with keen search Autonia nipped away . 
The blooms that were unsightly through decay. 

XVIII. 

And round them neatness reigned to an excess 
At which a busy man might smile, well-pleased, 

And not in shallow scorn ;, for mournfulness 
Must wreak itself on trifles, to be eased 

By dissipating thought ; the laying stress 
On little things the heart hath often teased 

From greater griefs, and hath deluded sorrow 

By giving forward interests to the morrow. 

XIX. 

Habit was their absorbing virtue, test 

And measure of all goodness ; order grew 

A superstition, carefully confessed 

By services minute the whole day through. 

Yet scorn not thou the widows : greatly blest 
Are they who, by observance meek and true, 

Duty, albeit of. least dimensions, fill 

With large affections and submissive will. 



GAEL RITTER. 311 

XX. 

Within this narrow ring of joy and fear 
Antonia's daughter, like a radiant s^r, 

Wandered, or banished from her proper sphere, 
Did with the plants divide the matron's care ; 

For her plain virtues she to them was dear, 
And what of higher bent they could not share 

They took on faith, and loved her all the more 

Because to her lone height they could not soar. 

XXI. 

Her hair hung down in ringlets long and pale ; 

She was not lovely so the world would say 
But yet so delicate, a summer gale 

Might almost waft the sylph-like flower away : 
Her voice, for one of form so very frail, 

Was full of depth and richness ; and there lay 
Couched in its fervid tones, an evidence 
Of somewhat more than met the outward sense. 

XXII. 

And momentary feeling would excite 

Within her eyes a look of bold command, 

A fire, from time to time revealed, whiqh might 
By some quick deed, as by enchanter's wand, 

Transform her being, to the withering light 
Of jealousy and vengeful passion fanned. 

This smothered heat, in look and accent breathed, 

Was from her sire's Calabrian blood bequeathed. 

XXIII. 

Else never was there on the earth a maid, 
More gentle than the orphan Helena, 



312 CARL HITTER. 

Nor one with mien more gracefully arrayed 
In lovely self-distrust,* that could give way 

With sweet facility ; a pensive shade, 
Almost a trick of melancholy, lay 

Deep in her, blending lowly thoughts with high, 

As though it were her being's harmony. 

XXIV. 

Maids are there whom with wonder we behold, 
Frail, bending creatures, drooping evermore 

Beneath the pressure of soft thoughts ; yet bold, 
And ready on undaunted wing to soar 

Into life's highest regions, and unfold 

Strength and resistance, and a hidden core 

Of hardy virtues, which, like spirits, start 

From some unknown abyss within the heart. 

XXV. 

Hearts are they which an unkind word may break, 
Yet with an inward faculty of pride, 

Or power which might a chaster title take, 
When to nobility of thought allied ; 

Hearts whose sublime endurance nought can shake, 
By womanly devotion sanctified, 

Women who have men's burden strangely borne 

Without one feminine gentleness forsworn. 

XXVI. 

And such was Helena. But in our youth 

Ofttimes a circumstance or incident 
Lurks, overlaid, as though it were in sooth 

A thing for no great end or purpose meant ; 



GAEL BITTER. 313 

To which belongs a destiny and truth 

Hereafter verified, whereby the bent 
Of our first years is strained, their promise lost, 
The under-current mounting uppermost. 

XXVII. 

And fearful is the agency of love 

In these transfigurations of the heart : 
On it all passions are constrained to move, 

The point from which a second life must start. 
And with fair Helena did it so prove ; 

It set her childish being far apart, 
And woke, as spring wakes flowers from out the earth, 
The slumbering fires of her Italian birth. 

XXVIII. 

But all unconscious then of that dread power, 
Tender, nay languid, from excessive shade, 

Yet the more lustrous, grew that lily-flower, 
No kindred nigh to whom it might unlade 

The dew within its cup, a fertile shower 
Of confidence and sweet repinings, made 

To flow upon the friendships of our youth, 

Lest feeling, overfed, become untruth. 

XXIX. 

Fair Helena ! she grew from day to day, 

As in a convent, all unmurmuring ; 
And not an image to her heart found way 

Which did not from that narrow household spring. 
The turf which 'neath the drooping walnut lay 

Was not a softer, more alluring thing, 
Than, in her bower disclosed, this pensive maiden, 
Her spirit with unconscious beauty laden. 



314 CARL EITTER. 

XXX. 

Ah me ! it was a most endearing sight 

To see how self-suspicion ever strove, 
Yet vainly, in her thoughts ; she felt delight, 

But whence she knew not, somewhat too of love 
More than was asked of her in filial right. 

She brooded o'er herself like some lone dove, 
Or eastern shepherdess her fountain keeping, 
Beneath a palm-tree's cloud-like shadow sleeping. 

XXXI. 

Thus life stood still with her ; 'twas scarce forlorn, 
For there was no abiding sense of want, 

Save that a trouble or a joy half-born, 

And a blind hope, so oft love's pursuivant, 

Rose in her dreams and woke with her at morn, 

And somehow more and more her heart did haunt, 

A presage, to our youthful spirit dear, 

Of some new world of change and fortune near. 

XXXII. 

Thus Carl and Helena grew side by side 

Through childhood's long and uneventful years, 

Playmates, in all endearing tasks allied : 

Joys were not joys, and hopes were almost fears, 

To one, unless received and magnified 

"Within the other's heart ; from smiles and tears, 

The income of our youth, the pair laid by 

Hoards of sweet thought and fragrant memory. 



XXXIII. 

One difference there was ; young Helena 

Called Carl her brother, while the tender boy 






CARL HITTER: 315 

Gave her the name of sister ; and there lay 

In that distinction a deep-seated joy, 
Though why they knew not; but their minds would play 

With this one separation, and would toy 
With the soft syllables, as though to strain 
Such sweetness from them as they might contain. 

XXXIV. 

Childhood to boyhood rose : Carl's studies now 
Were in another and more manly vein : 

And from the one distinction soon did flow 
Surmises of great evils, to restrain 

The two swift growths of joy ; yet even so, 

It grew more dear when it brought more of pain : 

And brother now to Helena became 

A something fuller than a tender name. 

XXXV. 

So far they had been like a mated pair 
Of childish hearts, betrothed in infancy ; 

As in earth's simple days they ofttimes were, 
Grafting the step of love upon a tie 

Hallowed of God, that it might fasten there 
As a true growth of natural piety, 

A wise deceit,' which made a brother's name 

For years a spell love's wild excess to tame. 

XXXVI. 

O rarest leaf in fortune's golden book ! 

sweetest trap ! to win a gentle maid, 
On whom our earthly innocence did look 

As on a sister, with whom we have played, 



316 CARL HITTER. 

Erred, wept, and striven, and have many a nook 

Of pensive recollections, in whose shade 
A covert love may grow, a furtive plant, 
Spreading like lilies in a woodland haunt ! 

XXXVII. 

The self-paired flowers of wedded infancy. 

Which shape themselves into each other's growth, 

By fate are often frustrated, and die 

O'ershadowed in ungenial ground, as loath 

With their pure native grace to feed the eye 

Which blights them with its love, as passion doth :- 

Ah ! cruel sires ! who thus transplant a flower 

Which throve so well beneath a humbler bower ! 

XXXVIII. 

How lightly mounts the tyrant love his throne ! 

No pomp of installation there doth move. 
And thus with Carl the gentle thrall had grown 

To a sweet bondage, while his passion wove 
Dreams which cold hope would scarcely dare to own 

'Twere long to tell how from a brother's love 
That passion shot, and grew in depth and length, 
Fed hourly with fresh increases of strength. 

XXXIX. 

When Carl to Leipsic went, how passing strange 

Was the new melancholy of farewell, 
Nor without sweetness in the interchange 

Of murmured words, which inwardly did swell 
Too large for utterance then, or of a range 

Too wide, too free, for bashful tongue to tell. 
Poor Helena ! no words which she could borrow 
Would half fulfill the measure of her sorrow. 



CARL RITTEE. 317 

XL. 

And her love ripened fast in loneliness ; 

Yet it appeared the same old love to her, 
Run wild for want of speech, and through the stress 

Of absence : she grew somewhat waywarder 
Than heretofore ; and oft could not repress 

The rising image and the sudden stir 
Of tenderness which made the tears to flow ; 
And still she deemed it right it should be so. 

XLI. 

Antonia saw it not ; she gathered still 
The blooms the honeysuckle shed away. 

Kind Blanca as devoutly did fulfil 

Her round of modest duties every day. 

Alas ! for age, if those hearts lose the skill 
To know true love who once have been his prey ! 

Ah me ! it is a grief to mark how soon 

Noon wipes the morning out, and evening noon. 

XLII. 

Poor Helena ! in her sweet sickness lone, 

Her thoughts in some vague radiance ever whirled, 

Now first and fully in her heart had grown 
The barren knowledge that there was a world, 

A misty Somewhere whither Carl had gone : 

Then with the walnut boughs close round her funed, 

The bees oft soothed her as she did recline, 

Blowing the trumpets of the eglantine. 

XLIII. 

Carl, upon change and youthful perils cast, 
The stern ordeal bravely did endure ; 



318 CARL EITTEB. 

And virtue, rooted in a simple past, 

Grew from each shock more lovly, yet more suie. 
That sister-love, that image bright and chaste, 

Enshrined within his fancy kept him pure : 
Yet much he learned, and much did now appear, 
Which made the future doubtful and unclear. 

XLIV. 

The more he thought the more he loved ; and yet 
The more he loved the more did Helena 

Seem at a boundless distance from him set ; 

And rocks and thorny brakes obscured the way 

Which love must tread: then he would vainly fret 
At his own scruples, and deplore the day 

When good and evil, now more clearly known, 

Burst through the fence of youth, and broke it down. 

XLV. 

E'en where there is no guilt the world is strong 
To uncrown our youth's simplicity, and make 

The right so near a neighbor to the wrong, 
That it will oft constrain us to forsake 

Our blameless ends, lest they perchance, through long 
Vicinity, of evil should partake : 

The good we once suspected to be ill 

Its holy mission doth but half fulfil. 

XLVI. 

Carl thought of Helena, o'er whom had passed 
Now barely sixteen summers ; to her eye 

The world could but appear a sunny waste, 

Whose glistening sands did round their household lie ; 



CARL RITTEK. 319 

And he beheld how oft love was abased 

Before the fresh-seen world, how it would die 
From a vexed mind, how ill with joys it fared 
Which had not been with other joys compared. 

XLVII. 
And was it right ? thus in his solitude 

He daily reasoned that so young a maid 
Should be by stealth and at advantage wooed, 

And her affections prematurely laid 
Beneath a weight of bonds, full oft bedewed 

By after tears, when from home's twilight shade 
On the bright world such hearts are captive thrown, 
Ere they have yet the effects of freedom known. 

XLVIII. 

And do not choice and will belong of right 

To all young hearts, though by self-love denied, 

Whose passion is not a most pure delight 
Fed from itself, but is a growth of pride, 

A base usurper in love's angry sight, 
By generous restraints unsanctified? 

Alas for youth ! its love is oft a dream, 

Born of wild wish and hungry self-esteem. 

XLIX. 
Therefore shall Helena go forth still free ; 

(He little knew how she had all forsworn 
In his behalf her maiden liberty) 

Into the world she shall be gaily borne 
And its brave sights and goodly fortunes see ; 

Yes, she shall see, and for her brother scorn 
All the delights and lures that are therein ; 
And thus will I my bride, my sister, win ! 



320 CARL HITTER. 

L. 

So reasoned Ca,rl : and manfully he strove 
Passion and judgment on one line to train : 

Love mocked at him, and still the more it throve, 
As though such arts it might full well disdain : 

And strange to say he did more wildly love, 
As he of inward calmness more did gain. 

Ah ! piteous lot a tender heart to wither, 

When love can be both calm and wild together ! 

LI. 

Deem not his reasonings cold, untrue to love : 

Not unimpassioned is the sober eye 
Of meek self-sacrifice, though it reprove 

Fierce ardors. Ah ! life's plain reality 
Is stranger than romance, and far above 

The tame inventions of old chivalry. 
Woe worth the heart which cannot nobly win 
Love's knighthood by foregoing self therein ! 

LII. 

Ere Carl once more to Magdeburg returned 
The meek Antonia died ; and though at first 

Poor Helena for her lost mother mourned 

With vehemence, as though her heart would burst, 

Yet, when her sorrow spent itself, she burned 
Still more with love, and in her bosom nursed 

A fire which now no sister-love could be, 

Though still the name beguiled her pleasingly. 

LIII. 
And Blanca bade the damsel call her mother; 

'Twould soothe her grief the kindly matron thought ; 



CARL HITTER. 321 

And she was soothed ; for by this she could smother 
The hints which lonely musing often brought : 

And Carl seemed now by double right her brother ; 
Thus self-deceit most innocently wrought, 

Feeding on contraries, and with sweet skill 

Assimilating all things to its will. 

LIV. 

The minster clock tolled four : " He will come soon. 

Oh ! has it not been a most weary day ? 
And yet he said he should arrive at noon." 

(And Blanca smiled to hear young Helena) 
" How we will roam these evenings of dear June, 

And see the moonlight on the Elbe-stream play ! 
And now our nightly meal once more must be, 
As in old times, beneath the walnut-tree." 

LV. 

Thus thought to thought the happy maiden strung 
With a coherence of her own, and some 

Sweet thoughts that were not trusted to her tongue, 
Sweet thoughts which ever would unbidden come, 

And yet when come were cherished. Blanca hung 
Carl's bullfinch in the walnut's dusky dome : 

Even she was won to quiet, so the thought 

Of Carl's return in her affections wrought. 

LVI. 

At length he came, the exile, the estranged, 
Came to the cottage and the walnut-tree. 

The happy maid ! Oh how her fancy ranged 

When words, entangled in wild thoughts, got free: 
21 



322 GAEL EITTER. 

How he was changed, and yet he was not changed, 

But only at first sight had seemed to be. 
She said and then unsaid a hundred things, 
Which were to Carl the fanning of love's wings. 

LVTI. 

And he was changed, she saw that he was so ; 

He bore himself to her with courtesy, 
Which was like coldness after the warm glow 

Of his old manner ; she could not descry 
In his grave blandishments the genial flow 

Of playful freedom : there was in his eye 
A tenderness oh ! how unlike her own ; 
Carl was too much, too much a brother grown ! 

LVIII. 
Ah, Helena ! the golden hour was come, 

The long-sought meeting ; 'twas a mournful night, 
Vacant and chilling, like a sudden gloom 

Upon a radiant scene ; all joy, all light 
Were gone, and love half-prophesied its doom : 

Still a blind feeling rose, perchance 'twas right 
He should so act : and yet with weeping eyes, 
She was full fain to have it otherwise. 

LIX. 

O 'tis too sad a song to sing : they both 
In wistful silence let the years go by : 

Carl might have spoken, but was bravely loth 
To make his gain of her lost liberty. 

Eacli deemed the other's love was but a growth 
Of childhood's old familiarity ; 

And thus all life grew round them like a snare, 

And dark years rose from years that had been fair. 



CARL BITTER. 323 

LX. 

Then Blanca went to heaven ; and Helena 

Nursed mid swift growths of loneliness her love, 

With other grief than filial pined away, 
Until she was a sight hard hearts to move. 

Then burst the light on Carl, like break of day, 
The minster's shadow frowning from above : 

But she thought pity, not true love was meant, 

And so, poor soul ! for his sake smiled dissent. 

LXI. 

Thus to two gentle souls all life was blurred 

Into one indistinguishable blot ; 
Two destinies had hung upon a word, 

And out of love that word was spoken not ; 
And when it came, time, life, and hearts had stirred 

From the right place and the appointed spot. 
To others the cross-purpose was as light, 
To them the sun had sunk for life in night. 

LXII. 

They did not die of broken hearts, like some ; 

But thepwere larger from being broken, drew 
More hearts of others to them as a home, 

And made their sympathy and work more true. 
They are still young, although old age has come, 

For sorrow spurs them still to efforts new : 
And they are now, centres of placid powei , 
Doing the world's work bravely at this hour ! 



324 TO A MARRIED FRIEND. 



cxvm. 

TO A MARRIED FRIEND. 
1. 

FIRST love is self-love : a thiu shade that starts 

From-out ourselves, its dreamy joys the brood 

Of base will-worship, that in restless hearts 

Doth crave to have the loss of youth made good. 

First love too oft is love without esteem 

Or mutual honor, seeking in a wife 

No help, no shelter, but a soothing beam 

To minister a sunshine to our life : 

The growth of one wild hour ! and thereof come 

Dull-hearted unions and a listless home. 

I have known men to whom it hath been given 

To make one shipwreck on love's rocky coast, 

And they have lived to teach, as though from heaven, 

That he is blest whose first-love hath been crossed. 



CXIX. 
TO A MARRIED FRIEND. 

2. 

SOMEWHAT of wildness and of weak untruth 
And fond abstraction, surely may be borne, 
Not without ready pardon, in a youth 
Who hath but for awhile his fetters worn. 
For the hot heart of youth hath laws : mayhap 
The seeds of marrried faith are often cast 



DURING AN ILLNESS AT CONSTANTINOPLE. 325 

Upon this surge of hopes, and in the lap 
Of vernal love may take true root at last. 
Yet courtship is the unshapely element, 
Whence the deep power of chaste affection still 
Must calmly be evoked, till it fulfil 
The end and nature of a sacrament, 
And sanctify both spirits from above 
To be meet vessels of parental love. 



cxx. 

THE WINTER RIVER. 

Low spirits are a rightful penance given 

To over-talking and unthoughtful mirth. 

There is nor high nor low in holiest heaven, 

Nor yet in hearts where heaven hath hallowed earth. 

Still there are some whose growth is won in strife, 

And who can bear hot suns through all their life : 

But rather for myself would I forego 

High tides of feeling and brief moods of power, 

Than share those languors with the showy flower, 

Which the shade-loving herb doth never know. 

O Brathay ! wisely in thy winter grounds, 

Wisely and sweetly are thy currents chiming, 

Thus happily to every season timing 

The same low waters and the same low sounds. 



CXXI. 

WRITTEN DURING ILLNESS AT CONSTAN- 
TINOPLE. 

FAR o'er green barren Thrace the sun had set 
In stormy red : upon a couch of pain, 



326 WHERE THE PiNEWOODS WAVE. 

Listening the dripping of the dismal rain, 

Over the mighty city, dark and wet, 

I heard the countless Turkish Ez.ms swell, 

Bidding the vespers of the infidel 

With long, harsh wail from viewless minaret. 

The Cross lies hard upon my fevered brow 

And aching frame ; and slumber's pleasant spell 

Is backward o'er my restless limbs to creep. 

Yet from that Ezan have I learned but now 

That prayer is sevenfold welcomer than sleep. 

Then shall I count these little pains a loss 

Which thus can make the Crescent preach the Cross? 



CXXII. 
WHERE THE PINEWOODS WAVE. 

i. 

WHERE the pinewoods wave, 

And the white streams rave, 

I came in deepest gloom : 

I hated my youth 

For its sweet untruth, 

And laid it in a tomb. 
I pined for a poet's troubled morrow, 
And wept, ay, wept for the want of sorrow. 

ii. 

Where the pinewoods wave, 
And the white streams rave, 
I came when I was old : 
For the jar of life 



A SPRING LESSON. 327 

Is a gladdening strife 

Which makes not a poet cold. 
I had buried my youth hasty and erring, 
Oh ! have buried days a disinterring ? 

in. 

But the pinewoods' waved, 

And the white streams raved, 

They told me in my need, 

That softness and feeling 

Were not soul-healing, 

And so it was decreed, 
That the marvellous flowers of Christian duty 
Should grow on the grave of buried beauty. 



CXXIII. 
A SPRING LESSON. 

i. 

THROUGH all the vale, 
The primrose pale 
Her yellow spots is showing ; 

And by the stream 
^ * 

Green mosses gleam, 
Where Scandale Beck is flowing. 

ii. 

Beneath the trees, 

In families, 
The snowdrops white are shining ; 

And through the wood 

Full many a bud 
Reveals the woodbine twining. 



328 A SPRING LESSON. 

III. 

The young fern looks 
Like shepherd's crooks, 

As though 'twas such a trouble 
To force its way 
Through stones and clay, 

That it had bent it double. 

IV. 

And though no screen 

Of leafy green 
Protects my happy dwelling, 

The naked bough 

Hath thickened now, 
And bud and branch are swelling ; 

v. 

And it is meant 

To weave a tent 
Of summer twilight over, 

With warp and woof, 

And all sun-proof, 
A cool and fragrant cover. 

VI. 

And from the earth 

A stream of mirth 
Into the spirit rises, 

While sudden Spring 

From off her wing 
Is scattering sweet surprises. 



A SPRING LESSON. 329 

VII. 

And every hour 

In vernal shower 
The heart finds sweet ablution, 

While it receives 

Mid buds and leaves 
A very absolution. 

VIII. 

Yet do I mourn 

That spring's bright urn 
Is no impartial laver, 

But still that she 

Most partially 
Divides her wayward favor. 



For here and there 

The uncertain air 
Woos blossoms from their sheathing, 

Where'er the wind 

May now unbind 
The winter with his breathing. 

x. 

And chosen stems 

With weight of gems 
And forward blossoms labor, 

While not a bud 

Adorns the wood, 
The dull wood of their neighbor. 



330 CHRIST THE WAY. 

XI. 

We cannot ride 

By yon way -side 
Among the hawthorns early, 

But fancy grieves 

O'er spots of leaves 
Which spring hath wooed unfairly. 

XII. 

Yet if we scan 

The world of man 
In every nook and border, 

Where'er we turn 

We may discern 
The self-same solemn order. 

XIII. 

Thus in her path 

Of love and wrath 
Dear Spring our thanks doth merit : 

By her meek sign 

We may divine 
The mystery of the Spirit. 



CXXIV. 
CHRIST THE WAY. 

i. 

To sin and earth and sorrow tributary, 
We lift our thoughts to thee, O blissful Mary ! 
Oh ! stainless Maid and mightiest Mother ! thou 
Wert the mysterious gate where, stooping low, 



CHRIST THE WAY. 331 

The King of glory entered, first and last 
And only One who by that portal passed. 
To thee our love we offer ; while we pray, 
Poor suitors, unto Him who in thee lay, 
That we may walk in His new living Way. 

ii. 

Poor suitors are we to thy Son, O Mary ! 
Like us to death and sorrow tributary, 
But not to sin ; and who did deign to call 
Substance from thee, a Body virginal, 
And with the Godhead set it side by side, 
For us vouchsafing to be sanctified : 
In Person one, of Natures twain : we pray, 
Poor suitors, unto Him who in thee lay, 
That we may walk in His new living Way. 

in. 

We are environed by the world, O Mary ! 

Bondsmen, disconsolate, and tributary ; 

Him, who did once environ thy blest womb, 

We seek, to cleave our way from out the gloom : 

He the strayed soul to its Creator lifts, 

Replenishing our nature with the gifts 

Of His own near Divinity : we pray, 

Poor suitors, unto Him who in thee lay, 

That we may walk in His new living Way. 

IV. 

We cannot lift ourselves, O blissful Mary ! 
We to low thoughts, base ends are tributary : 
We cannot lift ourselves unto the height 
Of such chaste marvel; for the abounding light, 



332 CHRIST THE WAY. 

From that exalted Human Body given, 
Strikes blind the eye too much upraised to Heaven. 
Man's nature sits with God : to Him we pray, 
To Him who, God and Man, within thee lay, 
That we may walk in His new living Way. 

v. 

O Mother-Maid ! O fellow-mortal Mary ! 
Was not thy Son, like mortals, tributary 
To hunger and to thirst, to hopes and fears ? 
Hath He not sanctified the power of tears, 
The beauty and the holiness of weeping? 
Hath He not given back into our keeping 
A nature newly consecrated ? Say, 
Should we not kneel to Him who in thee lay, 
Thy womb His road, who is Himself our Way. 

VI. 

He who within thee lay, O blissful Mary ! 

And to a creature's birth was tributary, 

Unto the Father yielding back His breath, 

Gave Himself up a vassal unto death, 

Death's serf, the three-days' bondsman, and the last, 

For He hath burst the prison as He passed. 

Death hath become transparent : let us pray 

To Him who rent the envious veil away, 

Breaking through that dread house a living Way. 

VII. 

And what high bliss hath not thy Son, O Mary! 
Made to Eve's fallen house hereditary? 
Man saw Him rise aloft with lucid track, 
And by that road man still expects Him back. 



CHRIST THE WAY. 333 

Clear across death and paradise are strown 
Footprints of light that end but on the Throne 
At God's Right Hand. Oh let us fall and pray 
With the great Seraphim that burn all day, 
Worshipping Man in God, man's living Way. 

VIII. 

And as He left thee to His Saint, O Mary, 
Pierced with a sword, woe's meekest tributary, 
So He bequeathed the Church unto the Spirit 
To teach her what great things she doth inherit ; 
In which sweet Spirit do we come and go, 
We risen with Christ, or He with us below, 
Man ever close to God : oh let us pray, 
Bending most reverent knees both night and day, 
To Him, in whom we stand, our uresent Way. 

IX. 

Is not His ancient priesthood, blissful Mary ! 
A deep yet most untroubled commentary 
Upon men's cries and tears by day or night, 
Pleading all woes before His Father's sight? 
And for the voiceful Church and poor mute world 
Doth He not keep His potent Cross unfurled, 
Lengthening its shadows upon sin ? O pray 
Unto the Priest who miuistereth all day, 
Making His Flesh man's Shelter and his Way. 

x. 

He is the Priest of priests, O blissful Mary ! 
Whose earthly types with right hereditary, 
As on the bosom of an unstained sea, 
Reflect His priesthood in the Mystery 
Of the dread Altar, giving Flesh for food, 



334 THE EASTER GUEST. 

Pouring into the frame from urn of Blood 
The power of resurrection : let us pray 
To Him whose Five Benignant Wounds all day 
Stand open to the Church, an awful Way. 

XI. 

He is our Way, our dreadest Way, O Mary! 
(May He remember me His tributary !) 
Our dreadest Way ; for it is only given 
Through His great Judgment-Seat to enter Heaven- 
Judgment according to our works ! the creed 
Could not be borne were not the Judge indeed 
A Man of thy true substance : let us pray 
Unto the Virgin's Son, that in His Day 
We perish not by that most fiery Way. 

XII. 

O whitest Flower ! O ever-blessed Mary ! 
To what high purpose wert thou tributary ! 
How wert thou chosen for the stainless Birth, 
Mother of God ! chaste Lily of the earth ! 
Lead us to Jesus, Mother ! for us part 
The veils that hang before the Sacred Heart. 
All prayers are to thine honor, which we pray 
To Him who, God and Man, within thee lay, 
Thy womb His road, who is Himself our Way ! 






cxxv. 

THE EASTER GUEST. 

i. 

DEAR Mother ! from the sacred cell 
Where the departed spirits dwell, 



THE EASTER GUEST. 335 

Mysteriously blest, 

A gentle shadow, by my side 

For one whole day at Easter-tide, 

Thou dost with thy poor orphan bide, 

A true though speechless Guest. 

i 

ii. 

Dear Shade ! at dawn thou dost not come, 

The hour when Jesus from the Tomb 

Went in the twilight gray : 

Thou comest not at sunrise fair, 

And, when to breathe bright Easter air 

I leave my bed, thou art not there, 

Thou hast not found the way. 

in. 

Softly, sweet Presence ! dost thou steal 
To me, when all the people kneel 
With trembling hearts prepared ; 
When, on the Mysteries intent, 
We see the veil between us rent, 
Showing the way that Jesus went, 
Then is thy house unbarred. 

IV. 

And straightway thou art at my side, 
As when, -one long past Easter-tide 
I knelt, a cowering boy, 
And thou my little hands didst bare, 
Taking the gloves which I did wear, 
Trembling, entranced, oblivious there 
With awe, deep awe and joy. 



336 THE EASTER GUEST. 

V. 

Dear Mother ! through the long, long year 

I never think without a tear 

Of thee so soon departed ; 

And, weariest penance ! all the things 

Which memory from her storehouse brings 

Are seeds of bitter thought, and stings 

Which keep me broken-hearted. 

VI. 

I mark thy sadly wondering look, 
When in a passion-fit I spoke 
Harsh words into thine ears ; 
When thou a sufferer on life's brink, 
Waitedst to weep, till thou didst think 
I should not see thy spirit drink 
Its greedy draught of tears. 

VII. 

Mother ! Mother ! with what pain 

1 crave thy presence back again 
Thy pardon so to get! 

For mine is now a growing sorrow, 
Which doth, alas ! for ever borrow 
From every change and every morrow 
New sources of regret. 

VIII. 

But this one day when thou hast come 
From out thy spiritual home, 
Thine Easter's endless feast, 
What other feelings hast thou brought ! 



THE ONE WANT. 337 

With what a cheering softness fraught ! 
What store, good store, of filial thought 
Hath come with thee, dear Guest ! 

IX. 

From out thy presence thou dost pour 

A healing quiet on my sore, 

The calm of pardon won, 

And a bright cloud of memories 

Doth from the genial past arise, 

Bringing sweet trouble in my eyes, 

From thoughts of duty done. 

x. 

Mother ! tb,e long, long year I mourn ; 
But thy mute presence is an urn, 
Replenished from above, 
Whence yearly there distils a dower 
Of deep absolving peace, a shower 
Of benediction, right and power 
For penitential love. 



CXXVI. 
THE ONE WANT. 



ONE thing is wanting, one bright thing ol earth, 
To fill the cup of life unto the brim, 
The measure and completion of my mirth, 
For lack of which days tarnish and grow dim. 
22 



338 THE ONE WANT. 

II. 

O earth ! O world ! O life ! ye should have bred 
For one like me more sorrow, pain, and fears ; 
Whereas from you, as from a flowery bed, 
Hath breath, like incense, breathed for all my years. 

in. 

Wherefore have ye forsworn your nature so ? 
For brittle wills, like mine, have need of stern 
And hardy baptisms, which can only flow 
From where pale sorrow bends upon her urn. 

IV. 

Why should I blame ? Ye do your best ; ye give 
What ye can give ; and still my heart goes free 
Gay thing ! it makes the world in which I live, 
And it is bright, too bright a world for me. 

v. 

One thing is wanting to me, one bright thing, 
The which being absent I am poor indeed ; 
It is my Mother's life, to be a spring 
Of a more virtuous gladness which I need. 

VI. 

One thing is wanting in the beamy cup 
Of my glad life, one thing to be poured in : 
Aye, and one thing is wanting to fill up 
The measure of proud joy, and make it sin. 

VII. 

Through all my life have I been saved by this, 
This one thing wanting ; it hath been the thorn 
Which kept me calm when I had plucked a bliss 
For some sweet branch, one leaf was ever torn. 



THE ONE WANT. 339 



VIII. 



I have been happy, and am happy now, 
Yet do I crave the most when happiest ; 
For the cold sense of my one want doth grow 
In the proportion wherein I am blest. 



IX. 



At the dread Altar, when I might lose sight 
Of my unworthiness amid the stir 
Of high and swelling thoughts, it is a blight 
To pride, that I can be no priest to her. 



x. 



In the rare moods when I have given birth 
To songs her memory would have loved to treasure, 
That she is absent mars the rising mirth, 
Timing my heart to this life's sober measure. 



XL 



When I have walked half giddy on the ledge 
To which men's praise, like tempters, souls will bear, 
The Avant, the single want, hath been the wedge, 
Cleaving my soul for Heaven to enter there. 



XII. 



Thus in still nights, in every loneliest haunt 
Thou, sainted Mother ! thou hast rescued me : 
Daily the Cross hath saved me by a want, 
And that one want hath been the want of thee. 



340 RYDAL, VALE. 



CXXVII. 

RYDAL VALE. 

1. 

IT was the earliest evening of the spring : 

The hills with vernal green were gently flushed, 

And every sound about the place was hushed, 

Except the blue lake softly murmuring. 

The glow of sunset came there, dusk and rosy ; 

I met a little child in Rydal vale, 

With a huge bunch of daffodils, a posy 

Large as the child herself, who was but frail, 

And hot with climbing ; and in all the rills, 

With both hands clasped, she dipped her daffodils ; 

And ever as she walked she loved to wipe 

Her face with those wet flowers, and it did please 

Her simple heart to hear the thrushes pipe, 

And she would look for them among the trees. 



CXXVIII. 
RYDAL VALE. 

2. 

THOU wilt be long in reaching home, my love ! 
If thou dost tarry all the joys to take, 
Crowded this evening about Rydal lake, 
The new-born lambs, the flowers, the cooing dove. 
Nay, wherefore grasp thy daffodils so fast ? 



A COTTAGER'S CHILD. 341 

I am not one to rob thee : thou hast wrought 

So deeply in my heart that thou hast brought 

Sweet gifts of tears unto me from the past. 

My sainted Mother ! was I once like this, 

A creature overflowed with simple bliss, 

One whom thou might'st have seen by these bright rills 

Long years ago when thou wert in this place, 

Stooping to cool his little health-flushed face, 

So wondrous happy with his daffodils ? 



CXXIX. 
THE WOUNDED LAMB. 

I SAW a shepherd with a wounded lamb, 
Which he had found in pain and almost dead 
Among the blue stones upon Rydal Head, 
Where, plaintive tenant of the moor, the dam 
With sorrow in her large round eyes was left, 
Of that white, gleaming creature now bereft. 
The village children gathered in a ring, 
Doubtful, as round some disenchanted spell : 
For three days they had seen it wandering 
A bodily sunbeam on the rocky fell. 
It puzzles them to think that on the morrow ; 
That patch of light will not be up on high ; 
Yet do they love it more, for common sorrow 
Begets in wonder's stead sweet sympathy. 



cxxx. 

A COTTAGER'S CHILD. 

I MET a child, and kissed it : who shall say 
I stole a joy in which I had no part? 



342 SUNDAY. 

The happy creature from that very day 

Hath felt the more his little human heart. 

Now when 1 pass he runs away and smiles, 

And tries to seem afraid with pretty wiles. 

I am a happier and a richer man, 

Since I have sown this new joy in the earth : 

Tis no small thing for us to reap stray mirth 

In every sunny wayside where we can. 

It is a joy to me to be a joy, 

Which may in the most lowly heart take root ; 

And it is gladness to that little boy 

To look out for me at the mountain foot. 



CXXXI. 
SUNDAY. 

i. 

THERE is a Sabbath won for us, 

A Sabbath stored above, 
A service of eternal calm, 

An altar-rite of love. 

n. 
There is a Sabbath won for us, 

Where we shall ever wait 
In mute or voiceful ministries 

Upon the Immaculate. 

in. 
There shall transfigured souls be filled 

With Christ's Eternal Name, 
Dipped, like bright censers, in the sea 

Of molten glass and flame.* 

*Apoc. xv. 2. 



SUNDAY. 343 

IV. 

Yet set not in thy thoughts too far 

Our Heaven and Earth apart, 
Lest thou shouldst wrong the Heaven begun 

Already in thy heart. 

v. 

Though Heaven's above and Earth's below, 

Yet are they but one state, 
And each the other with sweet skill 

Doth interpenetrate. 

VI. 

Yea, many a tie and office blest, 

In earthly lots uneven, 
Hath an immortal place to fill, 

And is a root of Heaven. 

VII. 

And surely Sundays bright and calm, 

So calm, so bright as this, 
Are tastes imparted from above 

Of higher sabbath bliss. 

vni. 
We own no g-loomy ordinance, 

No weary Jewish day, 
But weekly Easters, ever bright 

With pure domestic ray ; 

is. 
A feast of thought, a feast of sight, 

A feast of joyous sound, 
A feast of thankful hearts, at rest, 

From labor's wheel unbound ; 



344 SUNDAY. 

X. 

A day of such homekeeping bliss 

As on the poor may wait, 
With all such lower joys as best 

Befit his human state. 

XI. 

He sees among the hornbeam boughs 
The little sparkling flood ; 

The mill-wheel rests, a quiet thing 
Of black and mossy wood. 

XII. 

He sees the fields lie in the sun, 
He hears the plovers crying ; 

The plough and harrow, both upturned, 
Are in the furrows lying. 

XIII. 

In simple faith he may believe 

That earth's diurnal way 
Doth, like its Blessed Maker, pause 

Upon this hallowed day. 

XIV. 

And should he ask, the happy man . 

If Heaven be aught like this : 
'Tis Heaven within him, breeding there 

The love of quiet bliss. 

XV. 

Oh leave the man, my fretful friend ! 

To follow nature's ways, 
Nor breathe to him that Christian feasts 

Are no true holydays. 



THE EARTH'S HEART. 345 

XVI. 

Is Earth to be as nothing here, 

When we are sons of Earth ? 
May not the body and the heart 

Share in the spirit's mirth ? 

XVII. 

When thou hast cut each earthly hold 

Whereto his soul may cling, 
Will the poor creature left behind 

Be more a heavenl/ thing? 

XVIII. 

Heaven fades away before our eyes, 

Heaven fades within our heart, 
Because in thought our Heaven and Earth 

Are cast too far apart. 



CXXXII. 
THE EARTH'S HEART. 

TO MY NIECE. 
I. 

THERE is a pulse in flowing streams, 
A calmly throbbing motion, 

A heart in the cold mountain springs 
As true as that of ocean. 

ii. 
Sit by yon bay where Rothay comes 

With merry sparkling fall 
To rest within the glossy pool 

Beneath the fern-fringed wall ; 



346 THE EARTH'S HEABT. 

in. 
And see how like a real tide, 

Encroaching and retreating, 
Upon the polished gravel bed 

The uneven stream is beating. 

rv. 
As if, although 'twas flowing down, 

Straight on it could not flow, 
But it must stay to breathe in pools, 

Like some poor hunted roe. 

v. 

And at the river head the lake 
From its blue hollows ever, 

A weary, tremulous, panting thing, 
Is sighing forth the river. 

VI. 

And thus the breath of the huge hills, 
Among wet mosses sobbing, 

Works alway through the upland springs 
With momentary throbbing. 

VII. 

And on the drear autumnal days, 
When o'er the naked heath 

The wind is riding, still it hath 
A palpitating breath. 

VIII. 

And in the woods the evening air 

A breathing spirit dwells, 
Still cooing like a turtle dove, 

A shy voice in the dells. 



THE EARTH'S HEART 347 



Those dazzling things, the watenalls, 

That leap with such a cry, 
In leafy clefts, sink down at times 

Into a woodland sigh. 

x. 

Like one whose heart is in his mouth, 

Swift echo on the heath 
Speeds onward, shedding broken words, 

A runner out of breath 

XI. 

I speak not of the heaving sea, 

But of the solemn earth ; 
I would thou shouldst believe there is 

A heart in all her mirth. 

XII. 

The dashing rivers are her joy, 
The pinewood plaint her sadness, 

The clamorous tempest is her rage, 
The earthquake is her madness. 

XIII. 

The past is in her, the long past, 
With all its light and gloom, 

What wonder then there should be throes 
In such a living tomb ? 

XIV. 

Her heart grows larger, as eacn day 

Sinks to it with a stir ; 
It makes me grave to think of all 

That hath gone into her : 



348 



MY WORLD. 



Proud-minded kings and rebel mobs, 

And, by the will of fate, 
Enough to make another earth 

Of love unfortunate. 



XVI. 



Then, when thou walkest on the hills, 

Or in the woods apart, 
Remember that the earth hath got 

Almost a human heart. 

XVII. 

The joy and grief of centuries 
Have so much dark and bright, 

That they constrain earth's pulse to beat 
Alternate day and night. 

XVIII. 

Sweet Alice ! when thy blameless past 

Shall enter this old earth, 
The world will find, and know not why 

More calmness in her mirth. 



CXXXIII. 
MY WORLD. 

I AM a chronicler of little things, 
Comings and goings, children's words and ways, 
Chance guests, new hosts, and single happy days, 
And household legends. These have been the springs 
Of much of my best knowledge : I have striven 
To make my narrow homely world a glass, 



THE DOG. 349 

Where shapes and shadows, like a breath, might pass, 
Dimly reflecting motions out of Heaven. 
And sometimes things have so encountered things 
As to eclipse each other, moving rings 
Which meet and intersect, chilling all mirth 
When they awhile the wondering household draw 
Beneath the shadow of some mighty law, 
I circle calm revolving round the earth. 



CXXXIV. 
ON A CHILD, WHO SUFFERED FROM FITS. 

No sooner cast upon the sounding beach 
From the dim sea where unborn spirits are, 
But with malignest influence touched, the fair 
And glorious soul was drawn beyond our reach. 
We search for thy great spirit, Brother, where 
In the dull distant caverns of thy being 
The stricken thing may haply now be fleeing 
Before some awful sights, or in some snare 
Caught trembling, all unconscious we are nigh. 
But sight and sound shall couch thy spirit's eye 
In thy wild mirth and outbursts of rude glee 
We shall behold thee daily set aside 
The withes the Dark One hath around thee tied, 
Bidding some portion of thyself go free. 



cxxxv. 

THE DOG. 

GRIEF for her absent master in her wrought, 
So I in pity took her out with me, 



350 THE SNOWY MOUNTAIN. 

Though I would fain have walked alone, to be 
Less hindered in the current of my thought : 
And then I threw her sticks for which she ran ; 
Who would not cheer a sorrow when he can ? 
After some miles we met at twilight pale 
A neighbor of her master's passing by, 
And, with blythe demonstration in her eye, 
She turned and followed him along the vale. 
So I walked on, companioned by the moon, 
Well pleased that even a casual form or feature 
Of the old times was dearer to the creature 
Than the new friend of one bright afternoon. 



CXXXVI. 
THE SNOWY MOUNTAIN. 

A DOMESTIC POEM. 

A STUDENT out of doors, where mountain winds, 

With voices deepened by the raving brooks, 

Inspire into the lassitude of thought 

Somewhat of vernal buoyancy, I went 

To a calm haunt, while overhead sweet spring 

An airy cloister diligently roofed. 

I was in my peculiar, sheltered walk 

Among the beeches and the laurels : there, 

In meditation utterly immured, 

Chewing the luscious prunings of sweet bay, 

I troubled my poor self with Charlemagne, 

Otho, Conrad the Salic, and the tribe 

Of great bad men, who made and shaped the earth 

We live upon to-day. Why should a heart, 

Begirt with trees and streams and cawing rooks, 



THE SNOWY MOUNTAIN. 351 

And with a tent of bluest sky above, 
Amid the jocund images that grow 
Of the blythe present, fret about the past, 
Stirring the silent bones of emperors, 
And dusty banners of old paladins? 

Sometimes, a brighter vision far, and yet 
A riddle still more difficult to read, 
Divine things always look so undivine, 
I mused the fortunes of enchanted Rome, 
Where Christ, with a tiara on His brow, 
Sits, and delays the hour of Anti-Christ, 
City, whose supernatural ways ill mate 
The style of modern life, yet suit so well 
All change, all progress, all vicissitude, 
Too broad, too nearly infinite, to let 
The grandest present cover its extent, 
Or equal its intense vitality, 
Unboastful city, not defending self, 
And answering questions only with a look, 
Healing the world of its successive ills, 
Queening it o'er the wildest times, with grace 
Which conquers those that oonquer her,, and who, 
While centuries are breaking at her feet 
Tame as tired waves that scarcely kiss the strand, 
Spite of her crumbling walls and pagan wrecks, 
Sits musing mid her tombs, and quietly, 
Scarce looking up when danger's hour comes near, 
Braves the world's fury, and with passive calm 
Disarms the ages by her right to live. 

Bewildered more and more, I walked and walked, 
And still light would not rise, thought would not come, 
Clear, steady thought ; the German Empire lay 
A nightmare on my mind ; when with rude shock 



352 THE SNOWY MOUNTAIN. 

From out a bush my little favorite boy 

By stealth leaped on me, clinging to my coat, 

And uttering a most victorious cry. 

His face was flushed, his bonnet laid aside, 

His long brown hair disordered by his play 

And in his eyes there glimmered the sly light 

Of merriment, half weary of itself, 

Flagging and spent with an excess of joy. 

Mornings are long to children ; he was tired 

With running, and as much with resting too, 

Among the daisies and the buttercups 

That were enamelling the April field. 

These were the cares which fretted him, as great, 

I doubt not, and substantial as the wealth, 

The power, the fame, the barren scholarship, 

Wherein we grown-up children spend our strength. 

It may be that in nature's honest eye 

A knot of wild-flowers are of truer worth 

Than the old German State, or any dream 

From which the world has wakened : for the flower 

Is a pure growth of heavenly love, a thing 

Unblamed by Him who made it. 

He was tired, 

And bitterly complained of the strange heat 
So early in the year : the April sun 
Among our lofty hills is all unused 
To such reproach ; he should have rather blamed 
The heat of his own restless happiness. 
Yet wherefore were the things without us made, 
(So reason childish hearts, or rather act 
As if they reasoned so) except to bear 
The blame most due to that which is within ? 
" There is no heat, my little boy," said I ; 



THE SNOWY MOUNTAIN. 353 

" Thy head is reeling with the open air, 

And breathing grass, and the new glossy leaves, 

And all the sunny aspect of the hills : 

The power of spring hath made thee drunk, my child, 

With its brisk spirit poured into thy veins, 

After long months of cold within the house 

Among thy playthings, wearisome through use : 

But sunshine is an unabated joy 

Which neither use nor frequency make dull." 

So spake I, rambling in a thoughtful strain 

Which the child understood not, but once more 

Cried out against fair April for its heat. 

" Come then with me," said I, " I told thee once 

That there was nothing nature could not do, 

Ay, nothing nature would not do, for those 

Who love her as they ought, that she would bring 

New playthings and old sunshine every day, 

Now let us speak to the maternal earth ; 

She ever answers me, when I do speak." 

I took him by the hand, and he looked up 
Most reverently into my face, as though 
I were a man of marvels, such as he 
Had seen last Michaelmas at our great fair. 
A gentle juggler, I conveyed the child, 
From the low sheltered walk wherein we were, 
Unto a, bare and lofty terrace, whence 
We looked into the desolate recess 
Of a huge mountain clothed in shining snow. 
The air was warm and tranquil ; not a breath 
Stirred in the seven tall larches, a sweet ring 
Which visibly was making all the haste 
It could, to robe itself in blythesome green. 
The boughs were pendulous and still ; and there 
23 



354 THE SNOWY MOUNTAIN. 

I placed the boy in front of the vast cove 

And giant ribs of snow, and bade him look 

Boldly into the mountain's snowy face, 

And ask it for a wind, a good cold wind 

To blow into his eyes. With timid voice, 

As of a child, half pleased and half afraid, 

Who yields himself upon a Christmas night 

To some new trick, when all the rest stand back, 

He asked the snowy mountain for a wind. 

Scarce had the words escaped his trembling lips, 

When, with a motion on the distant woods, 

A cold fresh breeze along the terrace swept, 

And died away, a marvellous response 

To shy prayer. How quick his heart did beat, 

While with surprise and awe he looked again 

Less boldly in the mountain's snowy face ! 

This time he did not ask it for a wind. 

'Twas a sweet sight to see the little boy 

Stand there, and gaze into the mountain's face 

And on the sheets of silent, sparkling snow, 

With eyes brimful of wonder and delight, 

And with bewildered meanings running over. 

Now when his patience 'twas a scanty stock 
Had wellnigh failed, there came another breeze 
Colder and ruder than the first, at which 
He laughed outright into the mountain's face 
With pure delight, as though it sent the breeze 
For his sole sport ; and I might safely say 
The snowy mountain laughed at him again ; 
For it sent out a mighty, boisterous wind 
Which made the larch-trees loudly creek, and blew 
Young Richard's tartan bonnet down the hill. 
Away in mad pursuit, both man and boy 



THE SNOWY MOUNTAIN. 355 

Followed the truant cap, which we reclaimed 
With laughter ere it reached the dangerous stream. 

" Thou wilt remember now," said I, " the power 
Of the old earth, and that she hath a heart, 
A mother's heart, among her lonely hills. 
Thou wilt remember too and love this snow, 
Whose beautiful white fields are melting fast ; 
And this kind-hearted mountain thou wilt love. 
Be kind to it thyself in all thy thoughts ; 
And when the evil summer of these vales 
Arrives, and that high summit brings the clouds 
To weep a very plague of drizzling rain 
All through the holydays, remember still 
This mountain is the mother of cold winds ; 
And be not petulant, but love it well 
For this day's boon : " then with a mimic sign 
Of wrath, I added : " and forget not' too 
That poets are lone walkers and strange men, 
Not to be leaped on in their chosen paths, 
Or scared by shouts from groves of arbutus." 

Once more in my peculiar, sheltered walk, 
My thoughts imbrued in blood and battlefields, 
And with my fancy chastened and kept down 
By the great shade of royal Charlemagne, 
I see the boy at play upon the lawn, 
But with the great, white mountain in his heart, 
Which loads him with a new solemnity, 
Ac altered being, even in his play, 
More happy, yet less vocal in his mirth. 
From this day forth the mountain and the snow 
From common sights are lifted in his mind 
Unto the rank of causes, solemn things 
To be by him more honored than before. 



356 TO LITTLE ALICE. 

It is a just beginning; all our lives 
This is the wisdom which we have to learn 
To see our earthly shadows taken up 
And by the Cross commuted into signs 
Or substances, and with strong faith to feel 
Our own immortal being so transfused 
Into the out-lying world, that common forms 
Are canonized, and circled with a light, 
Like the pale rings around the autumnal moon. 
The man to whom our common daily things 
By meek devotion and a simple eye 
Have grown to reverend solemnities, 
What lacketh he of his full growth in Christ ? 



CXXXVII. 
TO LITTLE ALICE. 

i. 

IF thou couldst be a bird, what bird wouldst thou be? 
A frolicsome gull on the billowy sea, 
Screaming and wailing when stormy winds rave, 
Or anchored, white thing! on the merry green wave? 

n. 

Or an eagle aloft in the blue ether dwelling, 

Free of the coves of the hoary Helvellyn, 

Whc is up in the sunshine when we are in shower, 

And could reach our loved ocean in less than an hour? 

in. 

Or a heron that haunts the Wallachian edge 
Of the barbarous Danube mid forests of sedgej 



TO LITTLE ALICE. 357 

And hears the rude waters through dreary swamps 

flowing, 
And the cry of the wild swans, and buffaloes lowing ? 

IV. 



Or a stork on a mosque's broken pillar in peace 
By some famous old stream in the bright land of Greece, 
A sweet-mannered householder ! waiving his state 
Now and then in some kind little toil for his mate? 



Or a murmuring dove at Stamboul, buried deep 
In the long cypress woods where the infidels sleep, 
Whose leaf-muffled voice is the soul of the seas, 
That hath passed from the Bosphorus into the trees? 

VI. 

Or a heath-bird that lies on the Cheviot moor, 
Where the wet shining earth is as bare as a floor, 
Who mutters glad sounds though his joys are but few, 
Yellow moon, windy sunshine, and ski<\s of cold blue? 

VII. 

Or if thy man's heart \vorketh in thee at all, 
Perchance thou wouldst dwell by some bold baron's hall, 
A black glossy rook working early and late, 
Like a laboring man on the baron's estate ? 

VIII. 

Or a linnet who builds in the close hawthorn bough, 
Where her small frightened eyes may be seen looking 

through ; 

Who heeds not, fond mother ! the oxlips that shine 
On the hedge-bank beneath, or the glazed celandine? / 



358 THE ASCENT OF HELVELLYN 

IX. f 

Or a swallow that flieth the sunny world over 
The true home of spring and spring-flowers to discover ; 
Who, go where he will, takes away on his wings 
Good words from mankind for the bright thoughts he 
brings ? 

x. 

But what ! can these pictures of strange winged mirth 
Make the child to forget that she walks on the earth ? 
Dost thou feel at thy sides as though wings were to start 
From some place where they lie folded uji in thy heart? 

XI. 

Then love the green things in thy first simple youth, 
And the beasts, birds, and fishes with heart and in truth, 
And fancy shall pay thee thy love back in skill ; 
Thou shalt be all the birds of the air at thy will ! 



CXXXVIII. 
THE ASCENT OF HELVELLYN. 

APRIL 28, 1842. HAVING ASCENDED PARNASSUS THE SAME DAY 
IX THE PRECEDING YRAR. 

I. 

AT morn we wended forth right merrily, 
With hearts as high as though we had been bent 
On great emprise and martial tournament : 
The wind blew softly through the azure sky, 
And in the dome the mountains stood upright, 
Vested from head to foot in softest light, 
Hung round them, a transparent drapery. 



THE ASCENT OF HKIA'EI.LYN. 359 

/ 

II. 

The budding branches of the oakwood bowers 
With honeysuckle in full leaf were tangled ; 
The western slopes with primroses were spangled, 
And cuckoo-plant and dusky violet-flowers ; 
And here and there the fragrant woodland floor 
With white anemones was powdered o'er, 
Like the last melting fringes of snow-showers. 

in. 

How rich the carpet of yon fir-tree dome ! 
The moss just tinged afresh in juicy dyes, 
The moneywort with countless golden eyes, 
The dark green daffodil now shorn of bloom, 
The woodroffe with its fragrant withered leaves, 
While here and there an early orchis grieves 
To flower and fade before its kinsfolk come. 

IV. 

And to the eye betrayed by his deep tongue, 

Within his watch-tower of old fir there sate 

The pensive heron in baronial state, 

And thrushes from their holly coverts sung ; 

All things were happy, from the radiant skies 

Down to the little breeze-fanned butterflies, 

Which pendent from the rocking may-flowers swung. 

v. 

Along the moorland steeps the heated air 

To lines of silky softness did subdue 

The harsh, rough walls, and bade the purple hue 



360 THE ASCENT OF HELVELLYN. 

Of the bright mere a crape of mist to wear. 
The young lambs gleamed upon the island mead ; 
And hyacinths had just begun to lead 
Their blue processions o'er the coppice there. 

VI. 

Then past the lately-felled larch wood we rode, 

Not thankless for the odor which it gave ; 

We saw the newly plumed birch branches wave, 

"Where Greenhead brook in its rough channel flowed ; 

Onward we mounted from the quiet vale, 

Till through its verdant gap the smooth Dunmail 

One distant head of father Skiddaw she-wed. 

VII. 

The mountain pass with streaks of herbage green 

And loose blue stones alternately was faced, 

Like amethyst with emerald interlaced 

On either side, and the blue sky between. 

The haze-fire played on Dunmail's shapeless tomb, 

As though 'twere breathed from out the uncouth gloom 

Where that old king nine hundred years hath been. 

VIII. 

O I am garrulous perforce to tell 
The birds, the wildflowers, and pageantries 
Of light and shade, the foliage and the breeze, 
Which there upon that joyous day befell ; 
Lest aught omitting, I should haply miss 
Some cheerful adjunct to that mood of bliss 
Whereon hereafter we should love to dwell. 



THE ASCENT OF HELVELLYN. 361 

IX. 

Then from the Raise we turned to look once more 

On Grasmere vale, so sweetly interspersed 

With fields and woodlands, and the blue lake nursed 

By its two streams, and fair hills bending o'er : 

Ruling the vale, was heard the cuckoo's cry 

Ubiquitous, like law's dread majesty, 

Unseen, but audible from shore to shore. 

x. 

The poets vaunt autumnal hues too much ; 

There is a season, a brief twenty days, 

Intercalated between summer's rays 

And the green flush of spring, whose tints are such, 

As, for their depth and fair variety, 

Richest autumnal coloring all outvie 

In shading delicate and grace of touch. 

XI. 

The gilded oak, the willow's pale sea-green, 
The sable pine with brilliant larches blending, 
And the fair birch its glossy plumage lending 
To meditate the light and dark between, 
The yellow beach, the manly sycamore, 
And clouds of cherry blossom floating o'er 
May well outdo sad autumn's broidered scene. 

XII. 

And all is joy or hope in earth and sky ; 
Tis not like autumn's pensive power that lies 
In beautiful decay, which we PO prize 



362 THE ASCENT OF HET/VELLYN. 

Because it is a glory passing by ; 
But a sweet sense that flowers are underfoot, 
And that long evenings now are taking root, 
And summer days foreshadowed pleasantly. 

XIII. 

But now, the Cumbrian border gained at last, 

At Wythburn's larch-girt Shrine and lonely dwelling 

We stood beneath the steeps of great Helve! lyn. 

One year this very morning we had passed 

The defiles of Parnassus, and had seen 

The crags which over voiceless Delphi lean, 

And on rich Crissa's plain their shadow cast. 

XIV. 

And the same day had now been dignified, 
In humorous caprice and pleasant mood, 
To explore Helvellyn's pastoral solitude, 
And the huge coves upon its eastern side ; 
And never day could dawn more graciously ; 
There was no cloud in all the dappled sky, 
Which did not clear of every summit ride. 

xv. 

Like virtue, old Helvellyn must be won 

By the first hard ascent o'er moorland grass 

Intolerably smooth, as polished glass, 

Save the moss-swollen lines where streamlets run, 

Tinkling like hidden bells ; and o'er the steep 

The shrunken waterfalls in silence creep, 

Braiding their crystal beadshowers in the sun. 



THE ASCENT OF HELVELLYN. 363 

XVI. 

And, as we clung like goats to the steep grass, 
How strangely sight and memory did strike 
Against each other ! Oh how all unlike 
To the Greek hill our own Helvellyn was ! 
And, ere we did the first green platform reach, 
In broken words each had reminded each 
Of noble features in the Phocian Pass. 

XVII. 

Oh I could weep for pity when I hear, 

Soft as far echoes, those old names of Greece, 

Spots I have seen in utter joyless peace, 

Like sanctuaries, beautiful but drear ! 

And who will blame though Delphi now supplants 

With vivid presence these domestic haunts, 

As though embayed in its rough ledges here ? 

XVIII. 

Full in the face of sunset Ktypa stood, 

When from the sheepflocks on the Theban plain 

I first beheld the great Parnassian chain, 

Nine layers of folded mountain crag, which glowed 

Distinctly pencilled out by purple mist, 

Till, by the shooting flames of sunset kissed, 

They melted off into the golden flood. 

XIX. 

Calm was the morning when our upward way 
From bowl to bowl of shrubby moorland rose, 
Where nothing but smooth -stemmed lentiscus grows ; 



364 THE ASCENT OP HELVELLYN. 

The distances were soft and clear ; no ray 
Of garish sunbeam to those heights did come, 
Curtained within a pleasant, pensive gloom 
Of daylight, tinged, but not obscured, with gray. 

xx. 

Fearful, Parnassus ! are thy clefts, which lean 
With their deep yellow rocks across the dell, 
Terrace on terrace piled, and citadel 
With ever-tumbling towers, o'ertopped with green, 
With belts of jutting pine-wood* darkly seamed 
In airy, hanging slopes, as I have dreamed 
The Babylonian gardens to have been. 

XXI. 

There is Arracova with sounding shores, 
Perched mid the torrent-springs and eagles'-nests : 
There, on her steep recumbent, Delphi rests 
Her patient ear on old earth's steaming pores ; 
There in a cool rock-shaded trough hard by 
The silent tripod, gifted Castaly 
Her silver water frugally outpours. 

XXII. 

How oeautiful the moon rose on the shore 
And olive-tops of Salona ! The light 
In trickling falls stole down from every height, 
Until the pinewood belts were silvered o'er ; 
And tremulous pulses of white splendor crept 
To glens which still in purple darkness slept, 
Teasing the eye their soft gloom to explore. 

* Pinus maritima. 



THE ASCENT OF HELVELLYN. 365 



XXIII. 



I rose and sunk upon the gentle sea, 

And from Herodotus I strove to spell 

By the clear moon some Delphic oracle 

In quaint hexameters, while memory 

Aided the dubious light : I was alone, 

And all entranced ; for truth, which had outgrown 

My dream, still more a dream appeared to be. 



XXIV. 



How glorious was the night, the twofold power 
Of hills and starry sea, when I did float 
At anchor there, while dark above my boat 
In the bright air did true Parnassus tower ! 
And, as the curlew's solitary wail 
Was faintly answered from some inland vale, 
I could have wept for joy of that sweet hour. 

XXV. 

As in the night all outward noises creep 
Into our dreams, so the sad curlew's cry 
On the Greek bay Helvellyn did supply 
Unto my wakeful trance ; a lonely sheep 
Sent forth a mournful bleating to recall 
Me from the dream which did in gentle thrall 
The very outposts of my senses keep. 

XXVI. 

To hear high up it is a solemn sound, 
And, rising from a sunken hollow nigh, 
It seems far off, a voice in the blue sky 



366 THE ASCENT OF HELVELLYN. 

Or earth-born plaint breathed from the moorland ground, 

A woful elegy, which hourly fills 

The pastoral waste with melancholy thrills, 

And echoes by the lone tarn's desert bound. 

XXVII. 

The platform gained, we watched one fair cloud sail 
For some Atlantic haven ; the gay fir 
Looked through the mist below like gossamer, 
A thin green network stretched across the vale. 
The wheat-ears ran or glided through the grass 
And o'er the stones ; they might for serpents pass, 
Parting the crisp white stalks with rustling tail. 

xxvni. 

One more ascent, and we had gained with slow 
And weary step the mountain's eastern edge, 
Where, hanging o'er the sheer and dizzy ledge, 
There stood a sparkling parapet of snow, 
Breeding a wild desire to lean thereon, 
Although we shivered at the thought alone, 
And turned from that abyss which yawned below. 

XXIX. 

Then in light mood the surface did we break, 
The virgin surface of the giant drift, 
And to our mouths the tempting crystals lift, 
Yet dared we not our burning thirst to slake ; 
But, standing on the slope of greensward nigh 
With the white battlement in front breast-high, 
We delved our hands therein for coolness' sake. 



THE ASCENT OF HELVELLYN. 367 

XXX. 

Then onward o'er a shingly, sea-like beach 

Of dreary stones with scarce a lichen veined, 

Or blotched with golden spots, or weather-stained, 

Did we the high-crowned promontory reach, 

And hoary pile and beacon-staff all rent 

And peeled and white, which wintry storms have sent 

Wild winds and eddies of strong rain to bleach. 

XXXI. 

There to the north the silver Solway shone, 
And Criffel, by the hazy atmosphere 
Lifted from off the earth, did then appear 
A nodding island or a cloud-built throne. 
And there, a spot half fancied and half seen, 
Was sunny Carlisle ; and by hillside green 
Lay Penrith with its beacon of red stone. 

XXXII. 

Southward through pale blue steam the eye might glance 

Along the Yorkshire fells, and o'er the rest, 

My native hill, dear Ingleboro's crest, 

Rose shapely, like a cap of maintenance. 

The classic Dudden, Leven, and clear Kent 

A trident of fair estuaries sent, 

Which did among the mountain roots advance. 

XXXIII. 

Westward, a region of tumultuous hills, 
With here and there a tongue of azure lake 
And ridge of fir, upon the eye did break. 



368 THE ASCENT OF HELVELLYN. 

But chiefest wonder are the tarns and rills 
And giant coves, where great Helvellyn broods 
Upon his own majestic solitudes, 
Which even now the sunlight barely fills. 

XXXIV. 

There Striding Edge with Svvirrel meets to keep 
The Red Tarn still when tempests rage above : 
There Catsty-Cam doth watch o'er Keppel Cove 
And the chill pool that lurks beneath the steep. 
Far to the right St. Sunday's quiet shade 
Stoops o'er the dell, where Grisedale Tarn is laid 
Beneath that solemn crag in waveless sleep. 

XXXV. 

The golden cliffs which from Parnassus lean 

With uncouth rivets of the roots of trees, 

And silent-waving pinewood terraces, 

And burnished zones of hanging evergreen, 

Haunts of the antique muses though they are, 

May not for dread .solemnity compare, 

Or savage wonders, with this native scene. 

XXXVI. 

Awful in moonlight shades, more awful far 
When the winds wake, are those majestic coves, 
Or when the thunder feeds his muttering droves 
Of swart clouds on the raven-haunted scar ; 
And in the bright tranquillity of noon 
Most awful ; lovely only in the boon 
Of soft apparel wrought by twilight air. 



THE ASCENT OF HELVELLYN. 369 

XXXVII. 

Shall Brown rigg Well be left without a song, 

Which near the summit, mid the wintry snows 

In a clear vein of liquid crystal flows, 

As through the pastoral months in gushes strong 

Gleams in the eye of sunset, and from far 

Holds up a mirror to the evening star, 

While round its mouth the thirsty sheepflocks throng ? 

XXXVIII. 

And now, with loitering step and minds unbent 

Through hope fulfilled, we reached the vale, once more ; 

And, wending slowly along Rydal shore, 

Watched the dusk splendor which from Langdale went, 

And on the hills dethroned the afternoon ; 

And home was gained ere yet the yellow moon 

From over Wansfell her first greeting sent. 

XXXIX. 

Thus flowed the day, a current o'er the mind ; 

Yet happiness however plain or short, 

Is alway meekly forward to consort 

With virtuous mood and purpose, and unbind 

Selfish desires, making the genial calms 

Of pleasure not abused a liberal alms 

Of loving thoughts unto all human-kind. 



24 



370 THE POET'S WORKSHOP. 



CXXXIX. 

THE POET'S WORKSHOP, 
i. 

THE litter of a student's room 
Bewilders those who do not know it ; 
But it is neatness when compared 
With the dim workshop of a poet. 

n. 

O if you could' but enter there, 
Where foreign foot may not intrude, 
Of puzzling sights and puzzling sounds 
'Twoukl seem a clamorous solitude. 

in. 

The murmuring hum of line, half line, 
Choice turn of words and happy ending, 
As from a thousand spinning wheels 
Is there continually ascending. 

IV. 

There sight and sound fresh forms and tools 
At windows ever open fling, 
Which that strange Man, the Artisan, 
Receives with boorish welcoming. 

v. 

And heaps of words and heaps 'of thoughts, 
In rows or circles gathered, wait, 
And seem but sorry furniture 
Except to the initiate. 



THE POET'S WORKSHOP. 371 

VI. 

The words in little parcels are, 
By nature prone to nuptial ties, 
With some apart, like bachelors 
At hand to fill chance vacancies. 

VII. 

And here and there are idioms cast 
To which no filing polish gives, 
And chief in our hoarse tongue we note 
Battered and bruised infinitives. 

VIII. 

There are articulate-speaking thoughts, 
Gregarious things, in lowing herds, 
Quick guesses that were never seen 
Without their flowing veil of words. 

IX. 

These are the things of longest life, 
Struck off in some high hour of mirth : 
We know not whether thoughts or words 
Came first and foremost to the birth. 

x. 

And feelings inarticulate 

Stir every heap of words asunder, 

Shifting and shaking all the tools, 

As though blind worms were crawling under. 

XI. 

Strange shop it is with littered floor ! 
Rejected types are strewn all o'er it, 
Which one day tumble into rhyme, 
As though they had been destined for it. 



372 I HAVE WILD MOODS. 

XII. 

And pliant supple shapes there are, 
Which 'neath the artist's pressure bend, 
Beginning as he wills they should, 
But coming to a different end. 

XIII. 

Look from the window ! Canst thou tell 
The land, the latitude, the weather, 
With sun and moon, and night and noon, 
So oddly kneaded all together ? 

XIV. 

And dost thou ask if habit holds 
This shop within her sphere and order ? 
I say, 'tis built on her domains, 
But at the very outmost border. 

xv. 

From wild turmoil and caitiff toil 
Seek not, Philanthropist ! to win it ; 
For that strange Man, the Artisan, 
Is happy, oh how happy ! in it. 



CXL. 
I HAVE WILD MOODS. 

I HAVE wild moods (who hath not ?) when I long 
For midnight tempests, and the boisterous song 
And jocund rudeness of the mighty wind ; 
And when I have a weight upon my mind 
To be dispersed by warring element, 



T HAVE WILD MOODS. 373 

A warp within my soul, to be unbent 

At once by the tremendous sympathy 

Of rocking woods, rent earth, and reeling sea, 

Moods when the Whence and What and Whither flash 

Like a bright arrow o'er my soul, and clash 

All meek, good things from their calm pedestals, 

Lighting within my spirit's ample halls 

A ruinous conflagration, which destroys 

In one dread hour the store of peaceful joys 

Won from religious ties or hallowed fears, 

Or fruit mayhap of consecrated tears, 

Tears shed o'er sin, or smiles by Angels brought 

In holy churches from a ritual caught. 

Moods are they when I bid my soul come bare 

From her dim place, that I may gaze at her, 

And praise or blame her make ; there is in me 

At times a hot and fierce desire to- see 

And realize my immortality : 

When it would be relief to me to heave 

A huge unnatural weight of rock, and leave 

The mass on some hill-top, for aye to prove 

That there is nought man's spirit may not move : 

When I should love to scatter a thick night 

Over all lands and oceans, so to blight 

The joys of earth, and see all men afraid, 

While my one gazing soul stood undismayed. 

These are the spirit-wasting moods, yea, these 
The fever, restlessness, and weak disease 
Of one who prays too seldom : at dead night 
Doth the strange spirit come with unstayed might, 
Until our open souls grow large and swell 
With the influx of dark, invisible 
And dire possession, that doth quickly drench 



374 AN EPISTLE. 

Our powersjn sin, and fain our souls would wrench 
From the good Cross, which like a floating mast 
Unto the shipwrecked, is our first and last 
True hope : and our hands bleed in holding fast. 



CXLI. 

AN EPISTLE TO A MEMBER OF 
PARLIAMENT. 

" WHY anchorest thou in those blue lakes for ever, 
Dear Student of the moorland and the river?" 

My old Companion ! we have been apart 
And have lost count of one another's heart. 
A various Past, an unknown region lies 
Between the sweet tract of oui memories 
And the too-stirring Present. I have been 
A wanderer now through many a foreign scene, 
Not without inward change ; and I have dwelt 
Much in my lonely spirit, till I felt 
I was,a person to myself unknown ; 
And this hath been one fruit of being alone. 
And I have changed each image of my life; 
And all the objects of my mortal strife 
I have arrayed in other shapes and places, 
Encompassing myself with different faces, 
To see in what relationship I stood 
To the new world around me : both my good 
And ill have been most intricately shifted, 
And my whole life insensibly uplifted 
Unto a different end ; my fear and hope 
Have other holdfasts and another scope ; 
And love is unto me a different birth 



AN EPISTLE. 375 

From what it was in our old boyish rnirth, 
And hath a deeper root in this kind earth. 
I have a more abounding joy, a will 
Less mutable, and faculties more still. 
There were green withs about my spirit bound, 
But they are lying faded on the ground. 
Now I can walk abroad in the sweet calm 
Of resignation, breathing holy balm 
Like evening air around me : I am haunted 
By a new boldness, solemn and undaunted, 
The very treasure I have always wanted ; 
And, with whatever friends or strangers thrown, 
The secret of that boldness is my own, 
An underground delight, a murmuring 
Among dry leaves and grass, as from a spring. 
The thing for which I pined, the early lost, 
The vainly sought on boyhood's sunny coast, 
The thing that left me, like an uncaged dove, 
I have laid hands on : and it is not love. 

I mourn not, as thou mournest, o'er the fate 
Of our own summer year of Thirty Eight. 
It came and went within us, like a breeze, 
Chiming among our thoughts as in the trees. 
It stirred us, as a breeze may stir the lake, 
And thou art gazing yet on its bright wake. 
A glory is no glory, if it last ; 
Thou art entranced, young dreamer ! in the past. 
None dream so wildly or so much, as those 
Whose early manhood rank or duty throws 
Into the fret of action, -action spoken, 
Whose energy is prematurely broken 
Into such fragments and small sums of power 
As may be drawn for by the present hour. 



376 AX EPISTLE. 

These are the dreamers, whom the little things 
Of this life deafen with their murmurings, 
Who are constrained to let the Present cast 
A shadow o'er the Future and the Past, 
Or let the Present's feverish pressure dry 
Those two great fountains of nobility. 

There is a time in life when it is well 
That our true selves should be invisible, 
When we should stand in patient calm apart, 
And action should lie still within our heart, 
Like unripe ore, collecting every hour 
From self-restraint new increments of power. 
There is a time in life when we should shroud 
Our inner selves with somewhat of a cloud, 
When to bystanders we should strive to seem 
Less than we are, and to appear to dream 
When we are toiling earnestly and much : 
For so may we ward off all outward touch 
And meddling hindrance, which might mar and spoil 
The growing fabric of our hidden toil. 
And therefore am I anchored in blue lakes, 
And screened, like some shy bird, by copsewood brakes, 
Lest things drift uppermost and be revealed, 
Which I would have in my dim self concealed. 

For I have had, like many another man 
A life with two beginnings ; and I ran 
Unto an end in my first forward youth, 
Which had the vesture and the face of truth ; 
But it was not the measure of my being, 
And therefore am I with wise caution fleeing 
To lurk awhile and tarry for more age 
In an obscure and quiet anchorage. 

In that old rambling year of Thirty Eight 



AN EPISTLE. 377 

Thou knewest me encircled with a state 
And retinue of vision, feeling, thought, 
Joy, fear, and hot conception, all inwrought. 
That pageant is worn out : from that old ring 
I have stepped forth, and am encompassing 
Myself afresh, and with long-pondered moves 
Am bringing up new joys, new fears, new loves. 
Thou askest how and whence hath come the change ? 
In what new fields my thought and fancy range ? 
I can but tell thee of some outward shapes ; 
Thou canst but hear the murmur which escapes 
Amid the silence : it will show where lies 
The growing quarrel in our sympathies. 

Ah for the faded year of Thirty Eight ! 
How little recked I then of this strange fate 
Which lay in ambush at the very door 
Of headlong youth, the spoiler of its store, 
Like a new wisdom in a heart grown old, 
A mountain stone amid the shy flock rolled. 
Enough ; and dost thou ask where now I range, 
Through what transfiguring of inward change? 

To thee that Thirty Eight still sparkles near, 
While to thy friend it is a faded year 
Faded in all save truest love for thee, 
And that high-souled young priest beyond the sea, 
And that dear bard, whose life is like a river, 
Ringing and sighing on its road for ever. 
Time was when from within myself I drew 
My powers and thoughts and instincts : all I knew 
Was but the self-sprung harvest of my heart, 
And the whole outward world was cast apart. 
I was a worldless man', a thing detached, 
A wandering cloud, a being all unmatched 



378 AN EPISTLE. 

With outward destiny : but now ray power 

Is from the world imported every hour. 

The pains I suffer, and the tears I see, 

Men's passions chance-encountered, children's glee, 

And moral contradictions, and green leaves, 

And skies, and streams, from these my spirit weaves 

Her web, and every day that passes by 

Doth add some little to the tapestry : 

For moral wisdom is a growing thing, 

Whene'er it rises from an outward spring. 

Time was when with a young man's pride I dreamed 
Quaintness was power ; and when to differ seemed 
Greater than to agree, and I esteemed 
All individual marks, which stand apart, 
Above the beatings of my common heart, 
The heart I share with others : now I cherish 
All commonplace designs as things which nourish 
A fellow-feeling with my kindred ; now 
To rise and sink, to range from high to low, 
To think as all men think in woe or mirth, 
Seems unto me the greatest gift on earth. 
Thus self hath daily less significance ; 
And, like one waking from a pleasant trance, 
I love the pensive glow of earth far more 
Than the bright lights upon that dream-land shore. 
Our boyhood was a noble savage state, 
Whence we were not reclaimed in Thirty Eight. 
But now the heart's meek household growths are ours, 
And we must shade ourselves in their green bowers, 
With holiest care the shoots to prune or train, 
With smiles for sunshine, blameless tears for rain. 

I am not idle, though at anchor staying 
To learn self-mastery, a wise delaying. 



THE FUTURE. 379 

Had it been good, or had a heart of truth, 
I would sue back to me my banished youth. 
In calmly bending waters now I ride, 
With manhood flawing round me like a tide : 
And, whether winds be foul or fair skies blue, 
I shall heave anchor when the ship is due, 
And come within thy sight to seek a part 
In the world's fretful glory, where thou art 
A man in place with boyhood at thy heart. 
To thee, still in the lap of our old dream, 
This uncouth teaching for a while must seem 
A cold philosophy, a barren song ; 
But it will not seem so unto thee long. 
Thou too wilt one day learn it is not cold 
To speak of boyhood as a thing grown old. 



CXLII. 
THE FUTURE. 

TO MY BROTHER EDWARD. 



I HAVE wishes, I have dreams, 
And some vagrant hope which seems 
Like a most uncertain star, 
Still a joy, a joy from far : 
Yet the Future is to me 
Bright and barren as the sea, 
Bare of sorrow, bare of glee. 
When the present hour is weary 
Old times are my sanctuary. 



380 THE FUTURE. 

II. 

In my heart are many springs, 
All with cheerful murmurings ; 
But their sweetness lures my mind 
Oft its armor to unbind : 
Then the Past my succor is, 
A restraint on present bliss, 
And an impulse when remiss, 
A calm precinct, a grave rule, 
Where I am all day at school. 

HI. 

I have such a power of love, 
And such crowds of objects move 
My affections every day, 
That the present glides away : 
And I have too quick an eye 
Heavenly gestures to descry, 
Till in mute repose they lie, 
With time's shadow on them cast, 
In the bosom of the Past. 

IV. 

There must surely be a cause 
Why, reversing common laws, 
Heaven by no foreboding sorrow 
Drives my thoughts upon the morrow, 
And that simple childish hours 
Should be still the only bowers, 
Where repentance gathers flowers, 
Whose strong scent of purer years 
Kindles awe and wakens tears. 



THE FUTUEE. 381 

V. 

I have striven in restless hours 
To invade the future's bowers, 
And with fancy's help to riot 
In the exquisite unquiet 
Of a self-disturbance, where 
All is shadowy as air ; 
But it left my spirit bare, 
And some fault was sure to come 

To my wild heart as a home. 

* 

VI. 

Farewell, Future ! thou must be 

Still a pathless tract to me, 

A bar which I may overleap 

Only in the spells of sleep. 

Heaven be praised ! thou canst not tease 

Me from my contented ease, 

Nor taint me with the weak disease 

Of neglecting in my youth 

Simple thought and sober truth. 

VII. 

I shall reach thee at the last 
When commuted to the Past, 
And my pleasure will be double 
For the self-restraint and trouble 
Of averting thus my eyes 
From thy pomps and mysteries, 
While I watch the Present rise 
From one conquest to another, 
Virtue still being virtue's brother. 



382 TO A FRIEND IN PUBLIC LIFE. 

VIII. 

Yet I doubt not thou art giving 
Light in which I am now living, 
As the moon, although unseen, 
Somehow scatters stealthy sheen. 
In the Past I often see 
Things which cannot rightly be 
The Past's, but must belong to thee, 
Wandering Future ! strangely cast 
Deep into the prescient Past. 



CXLIII. 
TO A FRIEND IN PUBLIC LIFE. 



WHAT seest thou 
Of bush and bough. 

Green field or moorland border, 
Encompassed round, 
By sight and sound, 

The order of disorder ? 

ii. 

With what fit state 
Can poor Spring wait 

On thee in London living ? 
What moral light 
Are mornings bright 

To thy tired conscience giving? 



TO A FBIEND IN PUBLIC LIFE. 383 

III. 

What impulses 

Of skies and trees 
Can lonely fancy merit, 

Unless perchance 

Past springs may dance 
Along thy thrilling spirit ? 

IV. 

May every hour 

An April shower 
Thy thirsty heart be haunting, 

Thus filling up 

From its cold cup 
The joys which thou art wanting ! 

v. 

I would not be 

This day with thee, 
For all I love thee dearly ; 

I would not miss 

This vernal bliss 
Which hath begun so early. 

VI. 

Yet in my joy 

Is this alloy, 
It is almost a sorrow, 

No budding brake 

Thy soul can make 
Impatient for the morrow. 



384 TO A FRIEND IN PUBLIC LIFE. 

VII. 

Through good and ill 

With earnest will 
Thou toil'st for peer and peasant, 

And yet I would 

One little bud 
Might wean thee from the present, 

VIII. 

That thou couldst run 

In morning sun 
To see the rose-leaves peeping ; 

For they would tell 

How calm and well 
Earth works while men are sleeping. 

IX. 

For busy walk 

And toil and talk 
Are not life's only measure ; 

But man, like earth, 

Hath quiet mirth, 
Which is a better treasure. 

x. 

I am cast down 

Lest that huge town, 
Wild streets and wilder faces, 

With clamorous state 

Obliterate 
The thought of vernal places. 



ENNEKDALE. 385 

XI. 

For safety's sake 

To keep awake 
The spirit of the season, 

Say once an hour 

' A lowly Flower 
Is wiser than proud Reason.' 

XII. 

With all the stir, 

Dear Prisoner ! 
Of wealth and rank about thee, 

'Twill make thee smile 

To think awhile 
Of the green world without thee. 



CXLIV. 
ENNERDALE. 

I THOUGHT of Ennerdale as of a thing 
Upon the confines of my memory. 
There was a hazy gleam as o'er a sheet 
Of sunny water cast, and mountain side, 
And much ploughed land, and cleanly cottages, 
A bubbling brook, the emptying of the lake, 
An indistinct remembrance of being pleased 
That there were hedgerows there instead of walls, 
That it was noon, and that I swum for long 
In the warm lake, and dressed upon a rock : 
And this is all of verdant Ennerdale 
Which I can now recover from my mind ; 
The current of bright years hath washed it out. 
25 



386 EKNERDALE. 

Yet do I find the memory of it still 
A thing which I can lean upon, a spot 
Of greenness and fresh water in my soul. 
And I do feel the very knowledge good 
That there is such a place as Ennerdale, 
A valley and a lake of such a kind, 
As though I did possess it all myself 
With daily eye and ear, because I know 
It is possessed by simple dalesmen there. 

And I have many Ennerdales, am rich 
In woods and fields the owners think are theirs. 
I can dispark the trim enclosures first, 
And, in the very wantonness of power, 
Forthwith enclose the black, unfettered heath. 
I pass along the road, and set my seal 
On lawns, rough banks, wet coverts of wild flowers, 
And I can pick out trees from forest lands, 
For beauty or uncouthness singular, 
As heriots ; nay, the very brooks salute 
Their master as they leap, tinkling to him, 
Shrewd vassals ! as their truest feudal lord, 
With music such as they have never paid 
Unto the self-called owner : when I walk 
By night among the moistened woods they send 
From every glen their dues of mossy smells, 
And fragrance of the withered things which lie 
Upon the woodland floor. 

I make a stir 

Among the fields and flowery clods, as though 
I would have something changed ; I fold my arms, 
And look around, and draw my breath : I gaze 
Upon the fair estates and think how I 
Shall will them to my children in sweet songs.. 



A LETTER TO A FRIEND. 387 

Early and late I'm out upon my lands, 

And with pleased consequences survey the growth 

Of my young trees, acquiring fresh each day, 

Although the owners know not that they are 

But tenants at my will. I have, in store, 

The title-deeds of many a distant wood 

And foreign chase. With feeling eye and ear 

I have been gifted, and in right of them, 

Like a great lord, I walk about the land, 

Claiming and dispossessing at my will, 

The belted Earl of many Ennerdales ! 



CXLV. 
A LETTER TO A FRIEND. 

THOU askest me, dear Friend ! for what old cause 
These men thus hate thee. Hatred hath no laws, 
But is a weak-willed thing, which in young days 
A look, a word, a random doubt can raise. 
Account not of it ; it hath slender root ; 
For bitter speech doth mostly overshoot 
In our warm youth a passion's real length, 
And words are unfair measures of the strength 
Of youthful things : there is too great a want 
Of love and kindly thoughts, for hate to haunt 
A young heart long. Account not of it then, 
Nor harshly blame the speeches of those men. 
Ah ! never blame the hearts thou dost not know : 
Full are they doubtless of good thoughts, and flow 
O'er many round them with a power to bless, 
With sunny tempers, and meek gentleness, 



388 A LETTER TO A FEIEND. 

With quick forgiveness, and sweet conquests won 

O'er self and sin, and generous actions done. 

They have their ring of friends, and pensive ties, 

And put as much on welcomes and kind eyes 

As we can do. Why wilt thou treasure up 

Hard words like these, which do but taint the cup 

Of thine own happiness ? Thou canst not spare 

One shred of peaceful feeling ; life will mar 

That store too soon with its rude misery. 

I should have thought, dear Friend ! that I loved thee 

But feebly and unwisely to suppose 

Thou shouldst permit thy spirit's deep repose 

To be thus jarred, because some men speak ill 

Of one with a proud heart and headstrong will, 

Most variable mien, and bitter tongue 

Which hath too often to like taunts been strung. 

If I must blame, then will I censure thee ; 
For doubtless in the days when thou wert free 
From those restraints upon thy thought and speech, 
Which now, by prayer with prayer enchained, can reach 
Barely across the day, thou may'st have wrought 
Some evil, vented some ill-natured thought, 
Been cold when kindly manners were required, 
Distracted in thyself, sullen, or tired, 
Imperious or capricious, at the hour 
When, which is Angels' lot, thou hadst the power 
To sow a gentle thought, or do a deed 
Which, like a prayer, in thy behalf might plead. 

Some wrong has thou done them or their near friends, 
Whose memory, like a teasing shade, attends 
The thought of thee within them. Ah ! be slow 
To blame these censors ! For how canst thou know 
True love is not the soil where this dislike, 



A LETTER TO A FRIEND. 389 

On jealous friendship grafted, now doth strike 
Quick root, I hope not lasting ? Sure I am 
It is more likely far than honest blame 
Should rest on thee, than that a groundless hate 
On any human heart on earth should wait. 
Oh ! surely there are none would rather slake 
Their thirsty souls at bitter wells, than take 
The sweet and ready waters of mild springs, 
Which lure us by their very murmurings. 
I must believe fond faith perchance true hate 
To be of young hearts excommunicate. 

" But if the judgments are untrue? " What then ? 
They may not seem so unto other men 
Who know thee better : and I never heard 
Reported slander, but there was some word, 
Some stray expression, like a well-aimed dart, 
Which found a rightful home within my heart. 
If I deserved it not from him who spoke, 
I did from some one else ; and it awoke 
Soft thoughts and kind regrets, such as belong 
In compensation unto those we wrong. 
If now unmerited, it was not so 
In younger days, or some few years ago ; 
And it is well to have our sinful past 
Upon our notice somewhat roughly cast 
In bitter admonitions : Providence 
By these revenges would prolong the sense 
Of self-abasement, and the cleansing grief 
Which in young hearts is wont to be too brief. 
It is true health which Christian spirits win 
From out the abiding shade of early sin. 
But let this pass : an honest casuist 
His holy science must have sorely missed, 



390 A LETTER TO A FKIEKD. 

Who would not from such things by subtle law 

Wise canons for ascetic living draw ; 

And even to ourselves it is more fair 

To think ourselves in fault than that our neighbors are. 

Then be not thou afraid ; a few short years, 
Deepening the shades of life with pensive fears, 
Have holiest power to soften and subdue 
The starting feature and the glaring hue, 
Which in our youth will struggle into view. 
Time, which can heal us and yet give no pain, 
Will right the tremulous balance once again, 
And rescue, overlaid by youth's excess 
Of speech and feeling, childhood's gentleness, 
Then mellowed by calm age. Oh ! it is sweet, 
As through the thick of life we turn our feet 
To feel how harsh, unamiable ways 
Wear out within us by the lapse of days, 
Or drop like chains which have our spirits bound 
Close prisoners from the hearts which lie around. 
Then meek-eyed simpleness and common mirth 
Start, like the flowers in spring, o'er all the earth, 
And we confess the world is made so fair 
That nought, but self, can be beneath us there, 
That such good clings to all that round us move 
We fain must pity where we cannot love ; 
There is no soil where scorn or cold dislike, 
Except in self, abiding root can strike. 

Then be not thou afraid : for I would see 
In these dislikes a peaceful guarantee 
Of gentleness hereafter, which may wait, 
Kindly retributive, on this strange hate. 
For, in the crossings of our various strife, 
And oddly intersecting paths of life, 



A LETTEE TO A FRIEXD. 391 

We may be brought in contact with a heart 

Which dealt hard measure to us once, and part 

Regretting that we should have been so much 

Of our short lives beyond each other's touch, 

Winning kind thoughts which, whether told or not, 

It is a solid blessing to have got. 

And to the generous mind there is no love 

Which doth more calm and ready service move 

Than that, which through harsh judgments hath been 

long 
Withheld from those to whom we have done wrong. 

To-night in my lone ramble through the dell, 
I saw the sun sink down behind the fell. 
When twilight barred him out with crimson shrouds, 
I saw a kneeling Angel in the clouds ; 
It seemed the centre of the glory, whence, 
A spot almost too bright for aching sense, 
A deep effulgence travelled o'er the hills, 
Lighting the woods, and finding out the rills 
In their sequestered channels ; on the breast 
Of one most rugged mountain did it rest. 
Ah me ! dear Friend ! I wish thou couldst have seen 
With what a light it flushed the vernal green, 
And how the huge, unsightly stones it wrought 
To forms of yielding softness, while it brought 
A power of transmutation to the line 
Which keen and jagged did but lately shine, 
Yet now lay gloriously inflamed on high, 
Like an aerial mist across the sky 
Or wavering haze. Such is the softness cast 
Upon the heart when youth's hot hour is past. 
For some years now not one ungentle thought 
Towards any of my kind hath in me wrought : 



392 THE EASTER VIOLETS. 

Yet once more do I pray kind Heaven to give 
That in this beam I may for ever live, 
That I may have a sunset in my spirit 
To glorify and soften all things near it! 



CXLVI. 
THE EASTER VIOLETS. 

i. 

I SPOKE by chance of modest flowers, 
And how, in all the banks and bowers 
Of vernal Bagley's greenwood ways, 
They ever added to my store 
Of festal joys, a charm the more 
To Christian holidays. 

ir. 

A kind heart, little known to me, 
Amid the various company 
That night this random mention heard. 
I spoke with truth, but never thought 
What welcome service would be wrought 
For me by that stray word. 

in. 

Yet when we utter what we feel, 
The homeliest, simplest things will steal 
To many an ear and heart unknown ; 
And most in song will quiet truth 
In right of its unfading youth 
Find out and win its own. 



THE EASTER VIOLETS. 393 

IV: 

The sun shone fair on Easter Eve, 
The day when festal fancies weave 
Bright threads into the Lenten gloom, 
When our free thoughts, Good Friday over, 
Doubtful 'twixt joy and penance, hover 
About the Garden Tomb. 



v. 

My new-made friend that very day, 
His face with radiant humor gay 
A little sheaf of violets brought, 
Large blossoms singled out with care, 
And with long searching here and there 
At that chill season got. 

VI. 

" I've looked the college garden through 
To find each one of freshest hue, 
That from its purple censer flings 
True fragrance to the old March breeze ; 
You are a priest," said he, " take these 
For Easter offerings." 

VII. 

He tendered them with smiling glance 
And playful grace, which might enhance 
The courteous tribute that he brought. 
It was a gentle act, and stirred 
My soul to think how simple word 
In simple heart had wrought. 



394 THE EASTER VIOLETS. 

VIII. 

A trivial act ! Yet kindness stored 
In common vessels is a hoard, 
Which we more palpably discover. 
We fancy there is better measure 
Dealt out unto us when the treasure 
From lesser gifts runs over. 

IX. 

The single drop of pearly dew 
Which falls from out the harebell blue, 
When on the breezy heath it quivers, 
The meek observant heart will move, 
As proof, more touching, of God's love 
Than the abounding rivers. 

x. 

O sweet is kindliness un bought 
By ser-vice we ourselves have wrought, 
Or long-tried friendship's winning arts ! 
O sweet is sympathy which springs 
From chance occasions, random things, 
And unexpected hearts ! 

XI. 

There are who on vast purpose bent 
With these stray joys are ill content, 
These angel-scattered shreds of bliss, 
The wild-flowers of the lavish earth, 
Her natural growth of blameless mirth ;- 
Alas ! how much they miss ! 



THE LAST PALATINE. 395 

XII. 

The thoughts of kind acts long ago 
"Will one day, like a fountain, flow ; 
And, when old age upon us sets, 
We shall need memory then to cheer 
A flagging mood, or dry a tear, 
With such stray violets. 

XIII. 

They say that gentle soul is now 
Beneath dire sorrow drooping low, 
O'ershadowed by a clouded mind. 
May Heaven to his meek heart restore 
The radiant spirit as of yore, 
And that rude spell unbind ! 



CXLVII. 

THE LAST PALATINE, 
i. 

How dark and dull is all the vaporous air, 
Loaded with sadness as though earth would grieve 
Whene'er the skirts of ancient grandeur leave 
A place they once enriched forlorn and bare ! 
Man arid the earth in mutual bonds have dwelt 
So long together, that it were not strange 
Old lights eclipsed and barren-hearted change, 
Should be by sentient nature deeply felt. 

ii. 

And with the motions of her outward shows, 
Prophetic leadings, I would almost say, 
Guiding the observant spirit on its way, 
Doth she men's minds harmoniously dispose. 



396 THE LAST PALATINE. 

The woods and streams are sympathetic powers, 
Fountains of meek suggestion, to the man 
Who with submissive energy would plan 
His way of life in close and heated hours; 

in. 

How the dense morning compasses the town, 
As though there were no other place beyond, 
And with its sweeping mist bids us despond 
For the old forms which one by one sink down ! 
How patiently the Minster stands, a vain 
And beautiful monition, from the hill 
Rising or rather growing, mute and still 
Within a cavern of dark mist and rain ! 

IV. 

O venerable Pile! whose awful gloom 
From my first boyish days hath been the sign 
And symbol to me of the Faith divine 
Of which thou art a birth ! from out the womb 
Thou springest of the old majestic past, 
Colossal times, which daily, from the heart 
Of this dear land with lingering steps depart, 
Furling the mighty shadows that they cast. 

v. 

Past greatness is the shelter and the screen, 
Beneath whose shade high hearts serenely lurk, 
Catching true inspiration for the work 
Which shall in other days be known and seen. 
But greatness, which men do not understand, 
Is felt a pressure not to be endured, 
Where barren minds are painfully immured, 
Like dwarfs within the grasp of giant hand. 



THE LAST PALATINE. 397 

VI. 

How patiently the Minster stands ! So well 

Hath it time's mute indignities sustained, 

It might for- its own beauty have detained 

The grandeur now withdrawing. Hark ! the knell ! 

Durham, the uncrowned city, in meet grief 

Prepares to celebrate within the shrine 

The obsequies of her last Palatine ; 

And nature's gloom is felt as a relief. 

VII. 

And hark the knell again ! Within the town 
Through the old narrow streets the sinuous crowds, 
Meeting and parting, like the trailing clouds 
Of a spent storm, are on the Abbey thrown. 
How patiently it stands ! Once more the knell ! 
The crowd with silent agitation stirred 
And a contagious awe, like some shy herd, 
Shrinks at the ponderous voice of that deep bell. 

VIII. 

The blameless prelate in the antique gloom 
Of the low western Galilee is laid, 
In the dark pageantry of death arrayed, 
Nigh to the Venerable Beda's tomb ; 
And in the distant east beside the shrine 
There is a grave, a little earth up-cast, 
Wherein to-day a rich and solemn Past 
Must be entombed with this old Palatine. 

IX. 

See how with drooping pall and nodding plume 
In many a line along the misty nave 
The sombre garments of the clergy wave, 
Bearing the last Prince-bishop to his tomb ! 



393 THE LAST PALATINE. 

And, as the burden swayeth to and fro, 
I see a glorious relic; most sublime, 
A dread bequest from out the olden time, 
Borne from the earth with ceremonial show. 

x. 

To one old priest were Keys and Sceptre given, 
Two rights combined, the human and divine, 
Blended in one high office as a shrine 
Where earth might into contact come with Heaven. 
This homage of great times unto the Cross, 
All this magnificent conception, here 
Outstretched upon the Palatine's frail bier, 
Is borne away ; and will men feel no loss? 

XI. 

Hath not a sacred lamp gone out to-day 
With ominous extinction ? Can ye fill, 
Wild men ! the hallowed vases that ye spill, 
And light our darkened shrines with purer ray? 
O where shall trust and love have fitting scope? 
Our children will cry out for very dearth 
Of grandeur, fortified upon the earth 
As refuges for faith and holy hope. 

XII. 

The cloud of music hushed still loads the air ; 
The herald breaks the wand, while lie proclaims 
The gentle Palatine's puissant names : 
Yon kingless throne is now for ever bare ! 
This is a gesture, whereby we may solve 
The temper of the age ; upon this day, 
And in St. Cuthbert's shrine, the times display 
The secret hinge on which they now revolve. 



THE LAST PALATINE. 399 

XIII. 

Cities, where ancient sacrilege was bold, 
-Nature with tenderest rites doth consecrate 
Anew, and their remains incorporate 
With her own placid mounds and forests old : 
But an unholy action at its birth 
Doth visibly uncrown a place, laid low 
In all the rawness of dishonor : now 
There is a glory less upon the earth. 

XIV. 

At night upon the Minster I looked down ; 
In all the streets through dismal mist and rain 
The lights were twinkling ; and the mighty fane 
Seemed o'er its sevenfold subject hills to frown. 
Now then let ages pass, o'er this gray shrine 
Of uncrowned faith and formal prayer forlorn, 
Magnificent traditions all forsworn, 
And throne unpressed by lawful Palatine. 

xv. 

Fortress of God ! colossal Abbey ! thou 
In thy stern grandeur shalt outlive the forms 
That thus unqueen thee, and above the storms 
Of coming change shalt lift thy reverend brow. 
Once more shall Host and Sacrifice be thine, 
When Cuthbert's bones, concealed from curious scorn, 
Down the grand aisles in triumph shall be borne, 
With jubilant psalms, by some new Palatine ! 



400 THE KUINED COTTAGE. 

CXLVIII. 
THE RUINED COTTAGE. 



A RICH and languid midsummer 
Thou dost from thine own spirit bring, 
And, like a pleased magician there, 
Thou standest in thy self-drawn ring ; 
And from thine own abounding youth 
Thou spinnest threads of bright untruth, 
And weavest of hope's starry beams 
Upon love's busy loom a tapestry of dreams. 

n. 

A sunlight to thyself thou art ; 

Ah me ! it is a hapless lot, 

And in old age exiles the heart 

Unto a bare, unsunny spot. 

Thou passest on from day to day, 

As though life were the Milky Way ; 

Duty hath chartered not thy bliss, 

For joy well earned is no such twilight thing as this. 

in. 

Come with me to this mountain vale, 

And in meek nature's twilight see 

In after years how wan and pale 

Thy self-illumined dream will be, 

Like yon poor dull and murky speck 

By sunset left a joyless wreck, 

What time its mellow slanting ray 

From out of Langdale sent its last long look this way. 



THE RUINED COTTAGE. 401 

IV. 

The evening wind is rude and high 

Upon this wild deserted green ; 

The mountains in the pallid sky 

Rise up with outline cold and keen : 

The splashing lake, the rocking trees 

To me are mournful images ; 

Like uncrowned household gods are they, 

Unworshipped now amid this pastoral decay. 

v. 

Here once were happy peace ar\d smiles, 
And no less happy, holy tears ; 
Here once were love's domestic wiles, 
And constancy which grew with years ; 
Here conjugal delights were lured, 
And simple trials were endured, ' 
And, with his helpmate at his side, 
The shepherd's cares were light, his sorrows sanctified. 

VI. 

See here the drooping ash-tree shade 

Meet for the matron's out-door work, 

The common where the children played, 

The neighboring copse where they might lurk. 

Ah ! many a merry sunburnt face 

Hath come and gone in this green place, 

And Loughrigg heard the echoes play 

A year wakes fewer now than then were waked each day. 

VII. 

I see the blue smoke rising up, 
The ruined house resume its roof, 
26 



402 THE RUINED COTTAGE. 

The streamlet in a rough stone cup 

Protected from the horse's hoof; 

I hear the vespers of the bees 

In those two sister linden trees ; 

And there the gilded hollies shine 

Through the close network of the clambering eglantine. 

VIII. 

I see the happy rustic pair, 

O how my heart the vision stirs ! 

And four sweet children, wild and fair, 

Peeping among the junipers ; 

While o'er the lake with tremulous swell 

Eight strikes upon the chapel bell, 

"Within its cincture of green trees 

Drawing all thoughts unto its pensive sanctities. 

IX. 

Did ever dream come true like this ? 

If o'er the wide earth we could roam 

Should Ave detect a better bliss, 

A simpler or a nobler home ? 

A few souls moving day and night 

Within an orbit of delight, 

While they with mutual help fulfil 

In meek self-sacrifice and want our Father's Will ! 

x. 

Believe me there is not a bliss 
To bear the pressure of hard life, 
Which hath not been well-forged like this, 
And tempered in our mortal strife. 



THE RUINED COTTAGE. 403 

Old age is miserably poor 

Which hath not thus laid by its store 

Of cheerfulness from good deeds done, 

And lawful prisage laid on conquests duly won. 

XI. 

Yet even here behold the Avreck, 

That voiceless tenement behold ; 

The past a sun-deserted speck, 

Whose story is thus sadly told 

By all this melancholy round 

Of lonely form and cheerless sound, 

Which to the grieving spirit call 

With plaintive wooing, a most touching pastoral. 

XII. 

And in the lone and pale ash-trees, 

And o'er the white and withered grass, 

With what a moaning doth the breeze 

O'er this unhaunted moorland pass. 

It makes me sad to see it throw 

The blossoms from the linden bough, 

While by the little waterfalls 

The white owl hoots from out the ivy-strangled walls. 

XIII. 

And here and there and everywhere, 

The eyeless casements all about, 

Like lost babes wailing in the air, x 

The piteous nightbirds ever shout. 

It is a thought to consecrate 

This moorland with pathetic state, 

That Human Nature many a day 

Here lived and loved, and like a cloud hath passed away. 



404 THE KOTHAY. 

CXLIX. 

THE ROTHAY. 

DEAR Stream ! upon thy grassy brink 
I often am constrained to think 
That thou must so enamored be 
Of thine own pensive melody, 
It is a wonder that some day 
Thou dost not thy soft current stay, 
And listen in a green recess 
Unto the sudden silentness, 
Which would be in the widowed air, 
Were thy sweet voice no longer there. 
How dull would all the meadows look 
Bereaved of their own tinkling brook 
The fringing birchtrees that beat time 
With tendrils dipping to the chime, 
How sad would they be and forlorn, 
Were there no breath, of murmur born, 
To agitate with cool delight 
Their moistened tresses day and night ! 
In truth that pleasant shady sadness 
Would all its meek reserve of gladness, 
Like a mute mourner, soon forswear, 
Were there no choral waters there 
With changeful note to suit a tale 
To all who pass along the vale. 
I do believe the very bees 
Would quit the roadside linden trees, 
When summer afternoons are long, 
Didst thou not wile them with thy song 



THE EOTHAY. 405 

To keep up in the well-pleased air 
A drowsy emulation there. 
Indeed, sweet Brook! we cannot part 
With thee ; for to the vale thou art, 
To grieve, to comfort, to rejoice, 
An altogether needful voice. 

And yet, dear Stream ! I wonder much 
A deep desire doth never touch 
Thy waterbreaks awhile to stay, 
Self-gathered in yon mossy bay, 
Awhile in quiet depths to glisten, 
Awhile the distant sounds to listen 
Of thine own gushings far above, 
Which like the wooing of a dove, 
That penetrates the breezeless wood, 
The breath upon thy sylvan flood 
Might waft into thy curious 'ear, 
Confusing sweetly far with near. 

And better still if from on high 
There came no kindred melody ; 
For then it were a joy to know 
What would be, didst thou cease to flow ; 
And it were sweet for thee to measure 
The fulness of the daily treasure 
Which thou art to this vale always, 
Blythe Chanter of a hundred lays ! 
So kindly hearts might love to see 
How bare a place the world would be, 
Bereaved of all the lustre won 
From what hath been or may be done 
Through faith, through love, self-sacrifice, 
And our domestic charities, 
Which, as we waken every morn, 



406 THE ROTH AY. 

Remind us life may yet be borne. 

Ah ! Rothay ! now on thee doth wait 

For evermore a poet's fate, 

A captive, bound both eye and ear 

In his own sweetness prisoner, 

To whom his crafty melody 

Is no such power of simple glee 

As unto others it may seem, 

Who lie and listen by the stream 

Of song, which flows in many a fall 

Of thought and language musical. 

Then mightest thou begin once more 
A deeper strain than heretofore, 
Cheered not by knowing that thou art 
A power with which we cannot part, 
Nor any other conscious pride 
Unmeet for such fair river-side 
But by the buoyant powers which rise 
With something of a meek surprise, 
When partial self-restraint hath given 
To common joys the bliss of Heaven. 
For when sequestered from sweet thought 
By weary cares, we have been brought 
With thirsty heart and eager want 
Once more unto our pensive haunt, 
It seems like thee, my household River, 
Brighter and lovelier far than ever, 
With fresh dimensions of true beauty, 
Seen in relief against hard duty. 

O joyous art thou, festal Earth ! 
For every month with some new birth 
Of glory waits on thee : there is 
A beating pulse of truest bliss 



THE ROTHAY. 407 

Deep in the black and glossy lake, 

The yew-crowned steep, the hazel brake : 

A golden light of gladness quivers 

Submersed in the transparent rivers ; 

And there are ministers and powers 

Among the still or beckoning flowers ; 

The ship-like clouds, which overwhelm 

The azure sky, have at their helm 

An inward love to steer them right : 

Clear visitations of delight 

Thrill through the lone and swampy ground, 

With sight at unison with sound : 

The creatures in their perfect motions, 

The tides and currents of the oceans, 

The growing trees, for ever move 

By most transcendent law of love 

And blameless will, yet have no power 

Of self-restraint nor for an hour ! 

And therefore, blessed Earth ! it is, 

One moment of pure mortal bliss, 

Aye or pure mortal grief, is worth 

A hundred years of thy mute mirth, 

A hundred years of moons that range 

'Twixt sameness beautiful and change 

Which is not change, but to man's eye 

His inward mutability 

Reflected in the earth and sky. 

No love for its own sake can we 

Bestow on thy tranquillity ; 

But, when received into the strife 

Of feeling heart or pensive life, 

Our spirit sheds on thee a dew 

Which doth almost create thee new ; 



408 THE ROTH AY. 

And then, O Earth ! how dear thou art, 
How sacred to each tender heart ! 

Thou knowest not the wondrous blending 
Of bright and dark in the ascending 
Scale of life, the never ending 
Weaving of all times and places, 
And charities and wrongs and graces, 
r Of love and sorrow, morn and even, 
Youth and age, and earth and heaven. 
No joy is realized until 
By power of the harmonious will 
And the submissive reason, it 
Will, all unquestioning, admit 
Stern duty with a yielding grace 
To be enthroned upon its place ; 
And hath been taught to come and go, 
As task and leisure ebb and flow, 
And it for duty's coming waits 
A humble portress at the gates. 

Thou canst not know, dear Stream ! the joy, 
Without misgiving or alloy, 
Which abstinence and self-control 
Spread like a sunrise, o'er the soul. 
Thou canst not know what flight is given, 
Unto the very doors of heaven, 
To hearts which from self-sacrifice, 
Like birds from lowly places, rise, 
Who soar the highest when their mirth 
Is humblest on the lowly earth. 

Thy song cheers not thyself, dear River ! 
Because it is a song for ever ; 
It is thyself, thy life, and not 
A gift, a separable lot, 



ENGLISH HEDGES. 409 

Of whose deep tenderness and beauty 
Thou canst by self-restraint and duty 
Win sweet returns or augmentations ; 
It hath no daily new creations 
Fresh births which come from sapient glee, 
From wisdom, from simplicity, 
When mortal joys themselves refrain 
For virtue's sake, then flow again. 

So are we made : unquiet pleasure, 
Which the calm spirit cannot measure, 
Endureth not, and is no treasure. 
The mirth we cannot put away 
Is but a mirth on its first day. 
The joy which we can not restrain 
Is but a liberty from pain. 
Where self and pleasure are but one, 
That soul is morally undone ! 



CL. 
ENGLISH HEDGES. 



NOT without deep memorial truth are ye, 
Partitions of sweet thorn ! which intersect 
Our blythest counties, bidding us reflect 
Full oft upon our rural ancestry, 
The unambitious thanes of Saxon days ; 
Who with their modest manors well content, 
Of corn and mead and fragrant bean-field blent, 
And woody pasture, lived in simple ways 



410 ENGLISH HEDGES. 

And patriarchal virtues, ere the hand 
Of Norman rule was felt ; or feudal right, 
Baneful exotic ! settled like a blight 
On the free customs of the pastoral land. 

n. 

Behold a length of hundred leagues displayed- 

That web of old historic tapestry 

With its green patterns, broidered to the eye, 

Is with domestic mysteries inlaid ! 

Here hath a nameless sire in some past age 

In quaint uneven stripe or curious nook, 

Clipped by the wanderings of a snaky brook, 

Carved for a younger son an heritage. 

There set apart, an island in a bower, 

With right of road among the oakwoods round, 

Are some few fields within a ring-fence bound, 

Perchance a daughter's patrimonial dower. 

in. 

So may we dream, while to our fancy come 
Kind incidents and sweet biographies, 
Scarce fanciful, as flowing from the ties 
And blissful bonds which consecrate our home 
To be an earthly heaven. From shore to shore 
That ample, wind-stirred net-work doth ensnare 
Within its delicate meshes many a rare 
And rustic legend, which may yield good store 
Of touching thought unto the passenger. 
Domestic changes, families decayed, 
And love or hate, its testaments displayed 
By dying men, still in the hedgerows stir. 



ENGLISH HEDGES. 



IV. 



411 



When Rome her British Eagles did recall, 
Time saw the ages weave that web of green 
Assiduously upon the rural scene, 
Ere yet the lowly-raftered Saxon hall 
Was watched from Norman fortalice. The fields 
Escutcheons were, borne by those equal thanes, 
While herald spring went wandering up the lanes, 
Blazoning with green and white the yeomen's shields, 
And as the Church grew there, beneath her eyes 
The breadth of hedgerows grew with her, not loth 
To be, as freedom is, an undergrowth 
Of that true mother of all liberties. 



v. 

The Saxon hedgerows stand, though twice assailed ; 
Once greedy barons in their pride of birth 
For hunting grounds imparked the fertile earth, 
Till peasant joys and pastoral ditties failed. 
Now upstart wealth absorbs both far and nigh 
The small ancestral farms : woe worth the day, 
When fortunes overgrown shall eat away 
The heart of our old English yeomanry ! 
The hedges still survive, shelters for flowers, 
An habitation for the singing birds, 
Cool banks of shadow grateful to the herds, 
A charm scarce known in any land but ours. 

VI. 

Ye modest relics of a simple past, 
Most frail and most enduring monument, 
Ye still are here, when Norman Keep is rent 
And cruel Chace disparked into a waste 



412 MOUNTAIN TARNS. 

Of cheerful tillage : ye uninjured rise, 
To nature and to human wants allied, 
Therefore outliving works of lordly pride, 
How rightly dear for what we symbolize ! 
Long may the Saxon hieroglyphic stand, 
A precious trophy in the yeoman's eye, 
The wisdom of our ancient polity 
Written in leafy cypher o'er the land 1 



CLI. 

MOUNTAIN TARNS. 

i. 

O ASKEST thou of me 
What store of thoughtful glee 
By mountain tarns is lying, 
That I to such grim nooks 
From my dull-hearted books 
Should evermore be flying ? 

ii. 

Go thou, and spend an hour 
In autumn fog and shower 
Amid the thundering rills, 
Or hear the breezy sigh 
Of summer quiet die 
Among the noonday hills. 

in. 

The eagle's royal soul 
Is nurtured in the roll 
And echo of the thunder, 



MOUNTAIN TARNS. 413 

And feeds for evermore 
Amid the summits hoar 
On sights and sounds of wonder. 

IV. 

The murmur of the stone 
With hoarse and hollow moan 
Self-loosened from the height, 
The waterfall's white showers 
In midnight's deepest hours 
Creating sound and light, 

v. 

The pauses in the blowing 
Of winds, when oxen lowing 
Are heard from vales beneath, 
The under- world of care 
Scarce burdening the -air 
With its poor plaintive breath, 

VI. 

The fragrance of the noon, 
The nearness of the moon, 
The swampy mosses tingling, 
The strife of peace and noise, 
Like the sorrows and the joys 
In earthly lots commingling, 

VII. 

To all such sight and sound 
Is the eagle's being bound, 
A destiny of bliss; 
These spells his spirit wake, 
These influences make 
The eagle what he is. 



414 MOUNTAIN TARNS. 

VIII. 

So I of lowly birth, 
A workman on the earth, 
Would cast myself apart, 
That I a little time 
From dreariness sublime 
Might win a royal heart. 

IX. 

The golden-crowned kings 
Are often abject things ; 
I would not be as they : 
But mountain winds and waves 
Teach no men to be slaves, 
But with high minds obey. 

x. 

Great emperors forget, 
In jewelled places set, 
The human heart below, 
And with no fellows near 
They often cease to hear 
Its holy ebb and flow. 

XI. 

But I from mountain throne 
Would oftentimes come down, 
And leave unto the breeze 
And cataract to fill 
With echoes at their will 
My dreary royalties. 



MOUNTAIN TARNS. 415 



I would in mountain haunt 
But quicken the sweet want 
Of love and blisses mild ; 
And I would alternate 
My pomp of regal state 
With the humors of a child. 

XIII. 

There is a power to bless 
In hill-side loneliness, 
In tarns and dreary places, 
A virtue in the brook, 
A freshness in the look 
Of mountain's joyless faces. 

XIV. 

And I would have my heart 
From littleness apart, 
A love-anointed thing. 
Be set above my kind, 
In my unfettered mind 
A veritable kins:. 



And so when life is dull, 

Or when my heart is full 

Because coy dreams have frowned, 

I wander up the rills 

To stones and tarns and hills, 

I go there to be crowned. 



416 I FEEL, A CHANGE. 



CLH. 

OUR THOUGHTS ARE GREATER THAN 
OURSELVES. 

OUR thoughts are greater than ourselves, our dreams 

Ofttimes more solid than our acts ; our hope 

With more of substance and of shadow teems 

Than our thin joys, and hath a nobler scope. 

O sons of men ! there is a Presence here, 

Here in our own undying spirits, which 

With an unearthly wealth doth oft enrich 

The reason hourly sanctified by fear. 

Herewith men prophesy, herewith men press 

To their own hearts in studious loneliness 

Forms greater than they dare to tell : beneath 

The shadow of their own imaginings 

They sit, withdrawn and sheltered ; for a wreath 

Encircles them, a wreath of Angel's wings. 



CLIII. 
I FEEL A CHANGE. 

I FEEL a change, and yet I know not how 
Or where or when, or what it doth betoken ; 
But sure I am that voices which have spoken 
Daily within my soul are speechless now. 
For thought or fancy, hope, joy, smile and tear, 
My being is not what it was last year. 
And a new power, which will not yet reveal 



ON HEARING OF A FJRIEND's DEATH. 417 

Its name and purpose, hath already gone 

This way or that, as though it fain would steal 

And climb unchallenged to some inward throne : 

While I with fretful guess go sounding on 

Depth after depth of my vexed mind, to dodge , 

The bold, unbidden stranger, and dislodge 

All influence, unmeasured and unknown. 



CLIV. 

EFFUSION ON HEARING OF A FRIEND'S 
DEATH 

FROM FEVER AT NAPLES. 



AND he is dead ! Mourn, all ye moonlit hills, 
Ye woods that sleep so sweetly in the beams, 
Thou lake that twinklest like the light in dreams, 
Thou dappled sky ; and ye, O tuneful rills, 
Thus charmed to silentness, awake and call 
For power unto the raving waterfall ! 

ii. 

And he is dead ! Dear, blessed spirit ! there 
By the wild river doth his dwelling stand, 
The one dark spot in all the moonlit land, 
Which lies beneath this mountain summit bare. 
O Nature ! my o'erburdened heart relieve, 
Ye woods and hills, in mournful concert grieve ! 
27 



418 OX HEARING OF A FRIEND'S DEATH. 

III. 

Up many a vale I see the glimmering light 
Of scattered farms ; I hear the sheepdogs bay 
The quiet hanging moon, and far away 
The echoes travel. O how calm is night ! 
And through the gloom I can no peak descry, 
Which was not dear to Edward's gentle eye. 

V 

IV. 

And he is passed away, with snowy sail 

No more shall cleave Winander's azure deeps, 

No more shall homeward wend while moonlight sleeps 

On Brathay's ivied bridge and woody vale ! 

All, all is passed ; a few calm months have rolled, 

And all that world of joy is cold is cold ! 

v. 

O Italy ! thou wert his waking dream, 
And thou hast proved his grave ; we little know 
The ills which from self-chosen pleasures flow. 
Ah me ! at length the moon with silver gleam 
Hath struck his house-top, and the glittering rill 
Shoots past the bridge, and then is dark and still. 

VI. 

To-day I heard the cuckoo first this year ; 
It rose from his own grounds, an ominous cry, 
Which with old arts and wiles advanced more nigh, 
Then thrown far off, when it had been most near : 
This do I fondly note ; such chances are 
Not without light in sorrow's calendar. 



ON HEARING OF A FRIEND'S DEATH. 419 

VII. < 

Thus yearly hath the warning deathbell tolled 
Into my startled ear amid the chime 
Of youth's long holydays ; and every time 
Bereavement seems more desolate and cold : 
And I am now to grief less reconciled, 
Than when I was in pureness more a child. 

VIII. 

Ah woeful lot ! when sorrow hath become 

A source of self-disturbance, not a thing 

From which the growths of faith and meekness spring ; 

The world too much, too long hath been my home ; 

And this chill shock goes further, deeper in, 

As though 'twere fathoming new depths of sin. 

IX. 

And rainest thou, O Moon ! so calm a shower 
Upon Vesuvio's beacon-height, the sea 
And the white crescent of Partheuope, 
The garden terrace, and sweet lemon-bower ? 
And canst thou strike from out the hollow skies 
The tranquil spot where that dear outcast lies ? 



x. 

I too within the moonlight of sad thought 
Can compass far-off joys and long past days : 
Memory can strike with most pathetic rays 
Kind pensive looks and tender actions wrought 
In times bygone, and bring them round her now, 
White flowers, tear-freshened, for pale sorrow's brow. 



420 THE CONTRAST. 

V 

9 xi. 

How beautiful are thy constraints, O Death ! 
On our affections so benignly felt, 
Making all hearts, ranks, ages melt 
To one true brotherhood before thy breath ! 
I feel this night a fresh access of love 
For my lost friend, which Heaven doth not reprove. 

XII. 

Merciful God ! with whom the spirits are, 
Most holy Saviour ! on the mountain top 
The earth Thou madest, overspread with hope, 
Breathes consolation in the quiet air : 
Death is Thine earnest that our souls are free, 
O blessed are the dead who die in Thee ! 

XIII. 

Yea blessed, else would earth or sky display 
Some trouble when the youthful are laid low. 
So soft, so calm may be the moonlight show, 
When I, perchance still young, am called away, 
No trouble stir that night on Brathay's shore 
When I can hear his woodland voice no more. 



CLV. 
THE CONTRAST. 

i. 

O EARTH, meek mother ! with thy powers at war, 
How rudely 'gainst thy harmonies we strike ! 
The voice of men and cities seems to jar 



THE CONTRAST. 421 

Thy sounds more than thy stillness : how unlike 

These pastoral bleatings or this wild bird's wails 

Absorbed so kindly into all these mountain vales 

II. 

Absorbed, or rather by true love prolonged 
Through echo's lonely outposts in far links, 
And justly ; else earth surely would have wronged 
That old coeval sound : but whoso thinks 
That she to men's mutations will be chained 
Deems lightly of the place to which she is ordained. 

ill. 

Weak and dejected, for the gift of song, 
Intemperately used, had sapped my health, 
I lived in open air the whole day long 
In hill or wood, extracting thence a wealth 
Of chaste delights my future toil to bless, 
Mingled with just self-blame for fancy's late excess. 

IV. 

Within a natural temple of old pine, 
On whose grey columns and red withered floor 
The sun with noontide force could barely shine, 
I lay at ease : around me a gay store 
Of cuckoo-plant, with white and winking eyes 
Furled and unfurled, among the starting roots did rise. 

v. 

Invisible creatures rustled in the moss 
And the crisp leaves ; a wild suspicious eye 
Looked from a thrush's nest : and at a loss 
To find his master, closely harbored nigh, ' 
My dog at times among the boughs was seen, 
Like some white thing that floats deep in the waters green. 



422 THE CONTRAST. 

VI. 

And by the tiny trumpets of the bees 
Was I well soothed, and the blythe insect hum ; 
And winds were born and died within the trees, 
Prisoned and stifled in the leafy gloom : 
The plaint of lambs, the tinkling of a brook, 
Refined by distance, came unto this sombre nook. 

VII. 

Aloft the stockdoves seemed with their deep cooing 
All the broad wood to quiet and control, 
An eloquence like the continual wooing 
Of holy thoughts within a Christian soul : 
Remote I saw some horses in a plough, 
The world seen, as the Saints should see it, far below. 

VIII. 

God's blessing was upon the earth, all bound 
In deep content and joy from vale to height : 
There was that concord of harmonious sound, 
Those thrillings, almost vocal, of strong light, 
Suggesting to transported ear and eye 
A present Power, -diviner then tranquillity. 

IX. 

Homeward I went, with thoughts such as might wait 
Upon the vision in that shelter given, 
In meditation chastened yet elate, 
When all things seem transparent, and true Heaven 
Glows through all earthly loveliness and power, 
As though the veil were being consumed hour after hour. 



THE CONTRAST. 423 

X. 

Then suddenly by duty was I led 
Unto a scene of desperate misery, 
A moaning sinner on his dying bed, 
A drunkard oh how unprepared to die ! 
Too weak for prayer, for Sacrament unmeet, 
O Heaven ! what sight was this a pastor's eye to greet ! 

XI. 

But let us veil the scene : a cooling breeze 
Through the porch honeysuckle gently sighing, 
The singing birds, clear hills, and budding trees 
Amid all this the sinner lay a-dying: 
O when I quitted that most dismal room 
The outward sunshine was all baffled by the gloom. 

XII. 

Most inharmonious world ! which can compress 
Such sweetness and such horror in an hour, 
As though all beauty and all fearfulness 
Turned on one hinge, were but one folding door, 
Each counteracting each, with woe and mirth 
In mutual eclipse o'ershadowiqg the earth. 

XIII. 

Such and so solemn is the pastor's life, 
Strange alternations which, well weighed, may yield 
Reasoning sublime, and contemplation rife 
With virtuous purposes by faith to build 
The soul which doth among such fortunes range. 
The death-bell tolls : Christ aid him in his fearful change ! 



424 ONCE .MORE AMID THE ALDER TREES. 
| 

CLVI. 
ONCE MORE AMID THE ALDER TREES. 

i. 
ONCE more amid the alder trees, 

Once more among the hills, 
Mid dewy grass and fading leaves 

And the blue steam on the rills. 

n. 
Once more amid the pomp of clouds, 

Once more in shade and shower, 
What wonder is it I should weep 

For joy of autumn's power ? 

in. 

One year unto another calls 

In most mysterious ways : 
Autumn to autumn joins, and wakes 

The old autumnal days. 

IV. 

In springtide thus the jocund past 

One long, long springtide seems, 
And summer shapes and finishes 

The bygone summer's dreams. 

v. 

Such separate prerogative ( 

Doth in the seasons lie, 
And of sweet use may wise men make 

This deep consistency. 



ONCE MORE AMID THE ALDER TREES. 425 

VI. 
Dear native land ! dear English friends ! 

Now doubly dear are ye : 
Is it a trouble or a joy 

Wherewith ye welcome me ? 

VII. 

Since last I walked through withered fern 

What tides of sight and sound 
To far-off seas and foreign streams 

My pliant heart have bound ! 

VIII. 

Mid gorgeous cities, stirring lands, 

Mid wonder, change, and mirth, 
For months and months there was to me 

No England on the earth. . 

IX. 

I saw the fruit-tree roads of France, 

The ancient Lombard plain, 
And Venice in her white sunshine 

Still sitting by the main. 

x. 

And oh ! how blue were all the bays, 

How strange the desert peace, 
The marbles hoar, the olives grey 

In old heroic Greece. 

XI. 

And bright was May in your green haunts, 

Ye sweet Propontid isles ! 
And bright along the Bosphorus 

Were summer's evening smiles. 



426 ONCE MOKE AMID THE ALDER TREES. 

XII. 
All up the wild Danubian plain, 

In Transylvanian dells, 
By Mur's romantic castled heights 

And Drava's mountain wells, 

XIII. 

Along the shining bends of Inn, 

In old Bavarian towns, 
By many a deep green Austrian lake, 

On bleak Bohemian downs, 

XIV. 

From hill and stream and ruin hoar 

Grave lessons did I learn, 
Deep wisdom poured by earth herself 

From her own ancient urn. 

xv. 

Now is it all a dream, a thing 

Gone with the buried past, 
A vision broken up, a light 

Which had no life to last. 

XVI. 

And cheerfully, like vernal plants 

That pierce the April earth, 
Last autumn's thoughts come calmly up 

With old autumnal mirth : 

XVII. 

Calmly and cheerfully they come 

As though I had been here 
Nor left this single mossy bank 

Through all the bygone year. 



A VISION OF BRIGHT SEAS. 427 

XVIII. 
Thought must be earned by thought, and truth 

From other truth be won : 
Next year the fruit will come of seed 

In this year's travel sown. 



CLVIL 
A VISION OF BRIGHT SEAS. 



I NEVER think. without a thrill 
Of wild and pure delight 
Of all the leagues of blue, blue sea, 
Which I have sailed o'er merrily 
In day or dead of night. 

n. 

With moon and stars, at morn and eve, 
In sunny wind and shower, 
How often hath it worked in me, 
That mystery of the kingly sea, 
With joyous spells of power ! 

in. 

My heart doth burn whene'er I gaze 
From o'er the vessel's side, 
And see the tremulous sunbeams sleep 
Far down within the azure deep, 
And rocking in the tide. 



428 A VISION OF BRIGHT SEAS. 

IV. 

And I could sit for hours and watch 
The white phosphoric track, 
Which like a streaky firebrand burns, 
Where'er the foamy rudder turns 
Across night's ocean black. 

V. 

Methinks that laid, as I am now, 
Upon the rack of pain, 
The briny seaweed's fragrant breath 
On Old St. Hilda's breezy heath 
Might woo health back again. 

VI. 

O it is well sick men should go 

Unto the royal sea ; 

For on their souls as on a glass, 

From its bright fields the breath doth pass 

Of its infinity. 

VII. 

Go forth from thy sick room this day, 
My languid heart i go forth ; 
Mount ou the merry moorland breeze, 
And sweep o'er all the murmuring seas 
We've known in south or north ! 

VIII. 

How quick the mountains melt away 
The girdle of dark firs ! 
And Wansfell's broad opposing bank 
Fades off into a shining blank, 
And see the vision stirs ! 



A VISION OF BRIGHT SEAS. 429 

IX. 

Waves rock and flow, ships come and go, 
And cities are displayed 
Apparalled in transparent air, 
With quays and harbors : surely ne'er 
Was Merlin so obeyed ! 

x. 

There Genoa bends along the shore 
Beneath her Apennines ; 
There emulous waters force their way 
Into the locked and jealous bay 
Where old Venetia shines. 

XI. 

There are the low Dalmatian isles, 
The gems on Adria's arms, 
Albania's glens and white Corfu, 
And Grsecia's belt of waters blue, 
And deep JEgean calms. 

XII. 

Fling wide the antechamber door, 
Where sweet Propontis catches 
Sophia's gleam at break of day, 
Or plaintive wail from cupola 
Repeating the night watches. 

XIII. 

Thou, hospitable Euxine ! thou 
Art not forgotten here, 
Upon whose undulating breast, 
Spite of all legends, did I rest 
Calm as on Windermere. 



430 A VISION OF BRIGHT SEAS. 

XIV. 

Oh bliss ! what lights the sun and moon 

Have scattered o'er the sea, 

Which, though to others they would seem 

Confused into a radiant dream, 

Are all distinct to me. 

xv. 

My mother taught me how to love 
The mystery of the sea ; 
She sported with my childish wonder 
At its white waves and gentle thunder, 
Like a man's deep voice to me. 

XVI. 

When in my soul dim thoughts awoke, 
She helped to set them free ; 
I learned from ocean's murmu rings 
How infinite, eternal things, 
Though viewless, yet could be. 

XVII. 

In gentle moods I love the hills 
Because they bound my spirit ; 
But to the broad, blue sea I fly, 
When I would feel the destiny 
Immortal souls inherit. 



GENOA. 431 

CLVIIL 
THE YEAR AFTER TRAVELLING. 

SEE how last year is coming back again ! 
Dost thou not feel bright cities work in thee, 
At which we touched upon the midland sea, 
And fair cathedrals towering on the plain ? 
Through all the gathered mould of hope and fear, 
The heap of wintry things which we have cast 
Upon our memories, relics of the past 
Work up in little earthquakes from last year. 
And is it not a very pleasant trouble 
To feel this year our calendar is double? 
My thoughts have been bewildered all the day, 
As though I walked on air, not on the ground, 
And, from the date, I have this evening found 
It was a misty sight of Genoa. 



CLIX. 
GENOA. 



I AM where snowy mountains round me shine : 
But in sweet vision truer than mine eyes 
I see pale Genoa's marble crescent rise 
Between the water and the Apennine. 

ii. 

On the sea-bank she couches like a deer, 
A creature giving light with her soft sheen, 
While the blue ocean and the mountain green, 
Pleased with the wonder, alway gaze on her. 



432 GENOA. 

III. 

And day and night the mild sea-murmur fills 
The corridors of her cool palaces, 
Taking the freshness -from the orange trees, 
A fragrant gift into the peaceful hills. 

IV. 

And from the balustrades into the street 
From time to time there are voluptuous showers, 
Gentle descents, of shaken lemon flowers, 
Snapped by the echo of the passing feet. 

v. 

And when the sun his noonday height hath gained 
How mute is all that slumberous Apennine, 
Upon whose base the streaks of green turf shine 
With the black olive-gardens interveined ! 

VI 

How fair it is when, in the purple bay, 
Of the soft sea the clear-edged moon is drinking, 
Or the dark sky amid the shipmasts winking 
With summer lightning over Corsica ! 

VII. 

O Genoa ! thou art a marvellous birth, 
A clasp which joins the mountains and the sea : 
And the two powers do homage unto thee 
As to a matchless wonder of the earth. 

VIII. 

Can life be common life in spots like these, 

Where they breathe breath from orange gardens wafted? 

O joy and sorrow surely must be grafted 

On stems apart for these bright Genoese. 



GENOA. 433 

IX. 

The place is islanded amid her mirth ; 
The very girdle of her beauty thrown 
About her in men's minds, a virgin zone, 
Marks her a spot unmated on the earth. 

x. 

I hear the deep coves of the Apennine 
Filled with a gentle trouble of sweet bells ; 
And the blue tongues of sea that pierce the dells, 
As conscious of our Lady's feast-day, shine. 

XI. 

For Genoa the Proud for many an age 
Hath been pre-eminent as tributary 
Unto the special service of St. Mary, 
The sinless Virgin's chosen appanage. 

XII. 

I see the streets with very stacks of flowers 
Choked up, a wild and beautiful array, 
And in my mind I thread my fragrant way 
Once more amid the rich and cumbrous bovvers. 

XIII. 

And, unforgotten beauty ! by the bay 
I see the two boys and the little maiden, 
With crimson tulips for the Virgin laden, 
Wending along the road from Spezia. 

XIV. 

Sister ! thou askest why this evening long 
I have in selfish silence been immured, 
This is the vision which I have endured, 
Shaped, to win pardon, in a simple song. 
28 



434 XAME< OF GOOD OMEN. 

XV. 

It would augment thy happiness and mine, 
If thou, dear Ellen ! could'st but share with me 
This magic vision of the Midland Sea, 
And the white city with her Apennine ! 



v 

CLX. 
NAMES OF GOOD OMEN, 

THERAPIA ON THE BOSPHORUS. 
I. 

THE sunny wisdom of the Greeks 
All o'er the earth is strewed ; 

On every dark and awful place, 
Rude hill and haunted wood, 

The beautiful bright people left 
A name of omen good. 

ii. 

They would not have an evil word 
Weigh heavy on the breeze, 

They would not darken mountain side, 
Nor stain the shining seas, 

With names, of some disastrous past 
The unwise witnesses. 

in. 
Here legendary Argo touched 

In this blue-watered bay ; 
Here dark Medea in pursuit 



NAMES OF GOOD OMEN. 435 

Her poisons cast away, 
Polluting even the odorous shades 
Of pure Therapia. 

IV. 

Look how the interlacing trees 
Their glowing blossoms wreathe ! 

Is this a spot for poison plants, 
For crime or savage death ? 

The Greeks endured not that on it 
Should pass so dire a breath : 

v. 
Unlike the children of romance, 

From out whose spirit deep 
The touch of gloom hath passed on glen 

And mountain lake and steep, 
On Devil's Bridge and Raven's Tower 

And lovelorn Maiden's Leap : 

VI. 

Who sought in cavern, wood, and dell, 

Where'er they could lay bare 
The path of ill, and localized 

Terrific legends there, 
Leaving a hoarse and ponderous name 

To haunt the very air. 

VII. 

Not so the radiant-hearted Greeks, 

Who hesitated still 
To offend the blessed Presences 

Which earth and ocean fill ; 
Whose tongues, elsewhere so eloquent, 

Stammered at words of ill. 



436 A DAY UPOif THE EUXIXE SEA. 

VIII. 
All places, where their presence was 

Upon the fruitful earth, 
By kindly law were clasped within 

The circle of their mirth, 
And in their spirits had a new 

And consecrated birth. 

IX. 

O bless them for it, traveller ! 

The fair-tongued ancients bless ! 
Who thus from land and sea trod out 

All footmarks of distress, 
Illuminating earth with their 

Own inward cheerfulness. 

x. 

Unto the Axine Sea they sent 
A name of better feeling ; 

Dark powers into Eumenides, 
A gentle change ! were stealing, 

And poison-stained Therapia 
Became the Bay of Healing ! 



CLXI. 
A DAY UPON THE EUXINE SEA. 

i. 

SEVEN times doth Asia's flowery coast give place 
To Europe's shrubby cliffs and verdant Thrace ; 
And Europe into seven sweet bays retires 
Where summer sunrise shoots his pearly fires ; 



A DAY UPON THE EUXINE SEA. 437 

There holy East and royal West are meeting, 
Each from the other's headlands still retreating. 
With currents and with counter-currents seven 
The cold, bright waters, blue as bluest Heaven, 
Seem like the beating pulses of the free 
And angry spirit of the Euxine Sea. 

ii. 

Lift up the veil of legendary gloom 
Which hangs before that dreadful sea, the womb, 
So seemed it to the reverent men of old, 
Where every direful shape and form untold 
Of dark disaster lurked ; upon whose flood 
A mist, and no mere sea-born mist, did brood 
With heavy, hanging shadow : it was then 
A sea for gods and heroes, not for men : 
Yet with a kindly name they worshipped thee, 
The offering of their lips, dread Euxine Sea! 

in. 

With what a very diadem of fear 
They crowned thee kings of waters ! Far and near, 
The Delian blessing his ^Egean calm, 
Or Attic dweller at some inland farm 
Amid his oliveyards, had many a tale 
Enough to make the listening throng turn pale. 
Perplexing phantoms chasing ships behind, 
Mists, monsters, sudden wreck, and wondrous wind, 
Such were their dim uncheerful thoughts of thee, 
Thou legend-circled thing, dread Euxine Sea ! 

IV. 

Thy wandering waves had limits in the air, 
Begotten of men's faith : they thought not where 



438 A DAY UPON THE EUXINE SEA. 

Nor yet how near thou wert, but cast thee far 

Unto the confines of their thoughts, a bar 

Not reverently to be o'erleaped : the past 

One streak of light across the darkness cast ; 

One pathway, moon-beam like, the gloom did break 

'Twas Argo passing with her burning wake 

And in a cloud of troubled minstrelsy 

They wrapped thy sacred name, dread Euxme Sea. 

v. 

But see this harmless glossy -surfaced ocean, 
Cradling my boat with quiet-throbbing motion ! 
This is no dismal threshold to be strown 
With horrid wreck, no tempest-spirit's throne. 
Fnith fails the legends; the eye seeks but sees 
No monument, no twin Symplegades. 
Oh how transfigured, waves and headlands drear ! 
The very soul of May is breathing here ! 
Such skies, winds, waters can they truly be 
Upon the veritable Euxine Sea ? 

VI. 

The hollow waves, like summer thunder, roar 

On Thracia's rocks and low Silistria's shore. 

There Russia looms, or mistwreaths cheat the eye, 

Upon the horizon line of history ; 

And there, where yon white ship hath set her helm, 

Are Persia's havens deep, the garden-realm, 

The clime where earth, their thoughtless earth, discloses 

Nought to the poet's soul but wine and roses. 

These are the shadows, bygone or to be, 

Which flit along thy coasts, dread Euxine Sea ! 



A DAY UPON THE EUXINE SEA. 439 

VII. 

Now that the Strait, her seven fair bays unbinding, 
Draws the caique through each blue snaky winding, 
My heart is lighted on from cape to cape 
By torchlight song or legendary shape, 
While from the flowery Kandili there come 
Cool odorous breaths to old Byzantium. 
The sight of thee, dread Euxine ! calm and near, 
Hath made thee not the less a thing to fear ; 
Else why this troubled thrill which works in me 
When I have seen and touched the Euxine Sea ? 

VIII. 

But lo ! Stamboul ! A thousand sunset-fires 
Are gilding tall ship masts and cypress spires. 
White palace roof and glittering kiosk, 
Old Latin tower, rude gate, and pillared mosque. 
Trees, houses, fountains, ships, float oiF and rise, 
Like clouds instinct with light, into the skies. 
What shall Arabian prose or Persian verse, 
In after years to my dull ear rehearse, 
When eye hath seen upon a Mayday even 
Stamboul by sunset lifted into Heaven ? 

IX. 

To-day my thirsty spirit sought to drink 

Of dreadful legends on the Black Sea's brink : 

This sunset is a trouble in my soul ; 

Deep in my heart I heard the Euxine roll, 

I felt it in me as a mighty thought, 

The block whence forms of grandeur might be wrought : 

But now 'twixt light and gloom my mind is tossed, 

Bright thoughts in dark, and dark in bright, are lost ; 

Once more an untouched thing, outside of me, 

I hear the murmur of the Euxine Sea ! 



440 THE PLAINS OF HUNGARY. 

CLXIL 
THE PLAINS OF HUNGARY. 



O if in a valley 

With close mountains round, 
Or in the green alley 

Of a woodland ground 
There be a joy in nearness to each sight and sound, 

n. 

Or if, in the bowers 

Of a pleasance old, 
There be joy for hours 
In the sheets of gold 

And red and white and blue, in formal shapes 
unrolled, 

in. 

Or if in a rum 

"With weeds overgrown, 
Where time is undoing 

That which men have done, 
It is a joy to be hemmed in with aisles of stone, 

IV. 

And if from all places 

Close and desolate, 
As from silent faces 

Through a convent grate, 
Sad thoughts and gentle ones on the beholder wait, 



THE PLAINS OF HUNGARY. 441 

V. 

There is strong emotion 
And a dancing mirth 
From the sight of ocean, 

And wide plains of earth, 
Which is not a less heavenly, though a wilder birth. 

VI. 

Though there be a glory 
On the famous fields, 
Which chivalric story 

With its sunset gilds, 
And where the cypher of the past a wisdom yields, 

VII. 

There is glory brighter 

On the desert scene, 
Where the only writer 

That hath ever been 
Is the pure sky above with its unhindered sheen. 

VIII. 

And the earth's sweet changes 

Are a quiet past, 
Whose soft action ranges 
O'er the solemn waste, 

And where green grass grows now, wild waters once 
were cast. 

IX. 

To the misty sunlight 

Is its bosom bare, 
And the flaky moonlight 

Makes no shadows there, 
And it is free to all outpourings of bright air. 



442 THE PLAINS OF HUNGARY 

X. 

Whether pearly morning 
Doth herself transfuse 
In the sky, adorning 

All the myriad dews, 
Or twilight steals from sunset banners of red hues , 

XI. 

Whether noonday glimmers 

In the hazy dome ; 
Or, like noisy swimmers 

Scattering the foam, 
The hailstorms with white oars across the desert loam ; 

XII. 

Whether night's strong motion, 

Without sound or tool, 
The bright earth and ocean 

Strives to overrule, 

Lights wander here and there, and still the scene is 
beautiful. 

XIII. 

In the boundless quiet 
Of the misty plain, 
The wild horses riot 

Without bit or rein ; 
The fatal touch of man hath not passed on their mane. 

XIV. 

With their broad eyes flashing, 

Beautiful and free, 
The swift herd is dashing 

In its untamed glee 
Across the plain, as ships may dash across the sea : 



THE PLAINS OF HUNGARY. 443 

XV. 

And far off delaying 

By the shrunken rills, 
With a haughty neighing 

The lone air it fills, 
Fierce creatures in the joy of their own mighty wills. 

XVI. 

Day with silvery brightness 

Dawned there upon me ; 
The hoarfrost with its whiteness, 

Like a moonlit sea, 
For leagues of land both far and wide gleamed mistily. 

XVII. 

From the pallid glimmer 
Of the morning moon 
Till the plains grew dimmer 

In the vaporous noon, 
In which a tree or cloud would be a blessed boon, 

XVIII. 

In relays and courses 

At rude cabins given, 
We galloped, like wild horses, 

Till the cool fresh even, 

And we saw two things all day, the green plain and 
heaven ! 

XIX. 

Once we saw the rolling 

Of the Danube nigh, 
Once we heard the tolling 

Of churchbells wafted by 
But otherwise we were as wild birds in the sky. 



444 THE PLAINS OF HUNGARY. 

XX. 

But towards night less dreary 

Was the grassy way, 
And we passed, unweary, 

Villages that lay, 
Oases, in a belt of light acacia. 

XXI. 

Still we came no nigher 

The Carpathian chain, 
A fence of white haze-fire 

Compassing the plain, 
Like land, which may be cloud or land, seen o'er the main. 

XXII. 

On the desert ample 

Evening's chilly hour 
Bade the breezes trample 

In their wildest power, 
And o'er the twilight plain like viewless horses scour.' 

XXIII. 

Soon the winds were shaking 

All the ether blue, 
Where the mists were making 

The ambrosial dew, 
And with a moaning surge a solemn tempest grew. 

XXIV. 

And I felt my spirit 

On the storm ascending, 
Where for ever near it 

A dim shape was bending, 
Like a wild horse herd across the desert wending. 



THE PLAINS OF HUNGARY. 445 

XXV. 
And my thoughts were going 

From me with wild force, 
Like the white hairs flowing 

From the dashing horse ; 

I laughed whene'er the strong wind struck me in its 
course. 

XXVI. 

We met a serf belated 

On the dusky plain, 
With his wagon freighted 

With the baron's grain ; 
He was half blinded with the whirling sleet and rain. 

XXVII. 

And I felt it better 

In the desert drear 
To be without fetter 

Of submissive fear ; 
And I cried out in anger to the peasant near, 

XXVIII. 

" Leave thy wagon naked 

To the angry sky, 
Let thy thirst be slaked 
With earth's liberty, 
For freedom is a vaster thing than slavery." 

XXIX. 

But the long-haired vassal 

Looked at me confounded, 
As in hour of wassail 

By young lords surrounded, 
When biting scoff hath e'en his abject spirit wounded. 



446 THE PLAINS OF HUNGARY. 

XXX. 

( 

When on every feature 

I saw fear and pain, / 
I felt for the poor creature 
On that lonesome plain : 

Though storms without raged on, my heart was calm 
again. 

XXXI. 

Men there are who think not 

That great words unmeet 
Are wells whence we drink not 

Waters clear and sweet, 
And wonder the world stays not at such words its feet. 

XXXII. 

Such are liberators 

With their spirits lifted 
To the mood of traitors, 

From their good end shifted, . 
For lack of sympathy on frothy shallows drifted. 

xxxm. 

Surely it is better 

We should not undo 
This wild vassal's fetter, 

Lest his heart should rue 
His altered lot, as men set free too early do. 

XXXIV. 

j But the storm is over ; 

And with oakwoods walled, 
We, with quail and plover 
For the night installed, 
Are in the moonlit heart of the Bakonver Wald. 



THE KAFT FKOM LINZ. 447 

CLXIIL 
THE RAFT FROM LINZ 



ANOTHER bend among the hills, 
One other bend, and we shall hear 
Among the green o'erhanging trees 
The rocky Wirbel boiling near. 

ii. 

Upon the Danube and the woods 
Lay evening's red and troubled gleam, 
And calmly, as a lifeless thing, 
The raft from Linz went down the stream. 

in. 

And then how softly rose the hymn 
For Mary's succour in the strait, 
And that good Angels in the pool 
To steer the little craft might wait. 

IV. 

It bent and strained, and in the foam 
Awhile the crazy vessel quivered ; 
And then it glided like a swan, 
St. Mary hath the raft delivered. 

v. 

And there the convent boat appears 
To ask an alms of all who pass, 
Oblation made with willing heart 
To Mary and St. Nicholas. 



448 THE RAFT FROM LINZ. 

VI. 

And thus to great Vienna bound, 
The boatmen watch the stars all night, 
And for their hymn and for their alms 
They deem'the weather calm and bright. 

VII. 

Yet some dare blame the noly faith, 
As if to untrue forms it clings, 
While thus unto the unseen world 
For blessing every thought it brings. 

VIII. 

And those who, safe in modern powers, 
Heed not the whirlpool in their way, 
And count the men of Linz untaught, 
Are in true lore less taught than they. 

IX. 

Alas ! how oft hath science made 

The heart obtuse, the eye untrue, 

Obscuring providential tracks 

With veils a woodman's faith sees through ! 

x. 

x. 

We want the earth left to ourselves ; 
And signs where God doth hide to bless 
We class, as though, in classing them, 
We took away their awfulness. 

XI. 

For this to cold, unhumble men 
Is all that vaunted knowledge gives, 
The raising self by hiding God, ' 
The disennobling of our lives. 



THE HEiEESS OF GCSTING. 449 

XII. 

The men of Linz see into Heaven, 
Where sages but detect its law ; 
Judge which the better wisdom is, 
And who hath holier love and awe. 

XIII. 

Yea, only lest this barren dream 
Upon the men of Linz should pass, 
Where reason they should kneel and pray 
To Mary and St. Nicholas. 



CLXIV. 
THE HEIRESS OF GOSTING. 

i. 

Is there a stream on this sweet earth 
In vale or woodland, where 
Traditions of unhappy love 
Breathe not like summer air ? 

ii. 

There is no thought to hallow earth 
With more consoling gladness 
Than the true comfort she hath given 
To lovers in their sadness. 

in. 

Green trees and streams and castled steeps 
Are sweetest when they move, 
The gentle forms in stirring songs 
Of old disastrous love. 
29 



450 THE HEIRESS OF COSTING. 

IV. 

Born of no time or nation, still, 
In its imperial force, 
Love with the meekest forms of earth 
Holds simple intercourse. 

v. 

Love, like the abbey-building monks, 
By wood or stream is found : 
Who ever knew a love-tale haunt 
A cold, unsightly ground ? 

VI. 

A pilgrim through green Steyermark, 
The poet now is resting, 
Soothed by the woodland voice of Mur. 
Beneath the rock of Gosting. 

VII. 

Across the river and the mead 
The cliff's tall shade was thrown, 
Where sheltered from the sun I sat 
Upon a rugged stone. 

VIII. 

A tender tale of luckless love 
In that sweet gloom had part, 
And with the shadow of the rock 
It went into my heart. 

IX. 

Above were the green bat'tlements 
Of Gosting's castle strong ; 
I saw it not, but felt it there, 
A very power of song. 



THE HEIRESS OF COSTING. 451 

X. 

Ah! faith hath wronged thee, gentle tower! 

Thou wert too fair to shine 

The bright spot in the legend dark 

Of hapless Adeline. 

XI. 

Was ever maid like Adeline 
In all the Styrian land ? 
Was ever noble stout and wise 
As old Count Ferdinand ? 

XII. 

Had ever knight a silver tongue 
His lady's heart to melt, 
And yet a hand in battle strong, 
Like Franz of Lilienfeld ? . 

XIII. 

Was every peer in paynim war 
So merciful and bold, 
As the young lord of Shackenstein, 
The black-haired Leopold ? 

XIV. 

Ah ! like a pensive summer cloud 
Their memory floateth by, 
Far dearer for the shade it casts 
Than all the bright blue sky. 

xv. 

E'en in those strong-featured times, 
When human act and feeling 
Through all the world with ruder ways 
And greater forms were dealing, 



452 THE HEIRESS OF GOSTING. 

XVI. 

For masculine chivalric love 
The two young knights were famed, 
And never in the court or camp 
Were separately named. 

XVII. 

And oft to Trausen's earth-lipped stream 
Came Leopold, a guest, 
Within the halls of Lilienfeld 
For many a week to rest. 

XVIII. 

And when brave Franz returned to stay 
With Shackenstein's young earl, 
How short were summer's longest days 
Within the vale of Thorl ! 

XIX. 

In boyhood when their limbs were first 
In little mail arrayed, 
In fashion, color, and in weight 
Their suits alike were made. 

xx. 

Both flashed among the Styrian vales, 
Like very stars of light, 
Upon their proud and prancing steeds 
Of true Hungarian white 

XXI. 

In all the Transylvanian wars 
They shared one board and tent, 
And shone with fellow scarfs and plumes 
At foreign tournament. 



THE HEIRESS OF OUSTING. 453 

XXII. 

Ah love ! were all the lives of men 
Told truly one by one, 
The hearts thou hast dealt fairly with, 
And those thou hast undone, 

XXIII. 

At what a price of others' griefs, 
We might with awe behold, 
Each single hour of happy love 
On earth is bought or sold ! 

XXIV. 

Two tender hearts along one path 
Through all the world may move, 
If they at some fair turn in life 
t Encounter not with love. 

XXV. 

There is no incense half so sweet 
Unto the jealous power, 
As the sad fragrance offered up 
From friendship's withered flower. 

XXVI. 

But Franz apart at Lilienfeld, 
The earl at Shackenstein, 
Each knew not how the other loved 
The heiress Adeline. 

XXVII. 

Count Ferdinand to Hungary 
On mission high hath gone, 
And Adeline has to herself 
The castle huge and lone. 



454 THE HEIKESS OF GOSTING. 

XXVIII. 

A lady lone was Adeline 
Within her river bower, 
Yet, dreaming of young Leopold, 
She had no weary hour. 

XXIX. 

She worked not at her tapestry, 
Nor on her cithern played, 
But to her bowerworaan oft 
The heartsick lady said : 

XXX. 

" Now do I envy, Marian, 
That pleasant vale of Thorl, 
The very rocks and trees that look 
All day at that young earl. 

XXXI. 

" And yet," how pale the lady turned ! 
" He never can be mine, 
I love with hopeless hidden love, 
Ah woe is Adeline ! 

XXXII. 

" In all the vales of Steyermark, 
In rich Carinthia's dells, 
The love of Franz and Leopold 
A household wonder dwells. 

XXXIII. 

" And every maiden loves the pair 
As though they were her own, 
And did belong unto the land, 
The special boast of none. 



THE HEIRESS OF GOSTING. 455 

XXXIV. 

" And Franz sits mute at Lilienfeld, 
And pines for love of me ; 
He is a fair-tongued knight, and yet 
The earl speaks fair as he. 

XXXV. 

" I vow, our Lady grant that love 
My vow may never shake, 
That Adeline their wondrous bond 
Shall never, never break. 

xxxvi. 

" And I for some few weary years 
Upon this rock will pine, 
And live and speak with those two knights, 
And die and make no sign. 

XXXVII. 

" And, when his heiress droops and dies, 
The good Count Ferdinand 
To Mary and St. Kilian 
May leave his woody land." 

XXXVIII. 

This Adeline, the lady lone, 
Unto her bowermaid said, 
And she was pale as death itself, 
And mutely hung her head. 

XXXIX. 

But hark ! two horsemen loudly greet 
The porter grey and old, 
And blithe the seneschal replies ; 
'Tis Franz and Leopold. 



456 THE HEIRESS OF GOSTING. 

XL. 

And, privileged intruders ! see 
They part the chestnut bough, 
And doff their caps to Adeline : 
Now lady ! for thy vow ! 

XLI. 

And pale as death ! O ashy pale ! 
But quiet as a queen, 
The lady from her bower stepped forth 
With calm and gracious mien. 

XLII. 

In converse sweet on common things 
They walked among the flowers ; 
The summer day turned on its hinge 
With soft and noiseless hours. 

XLIII. 

Upon the white rose by the rock 
There grew one blossom fair, 
Which Franz in idle mirth had said 
Would suit his long brown hair. 

XLIV. 

And Adeline from sorrow won, 
Forgetful of her vow, 
Stooped down unto the blossom white, 
And plucked it from the bough. 

XLV. 

And surely utterly entranced, 
Yet so the tale is told, 
She twined it in the raven hair 
Of her own Leopold. 



THE HEIKESS OF GOSTING. 457 

XLVI. 

Franz gazed on her with startled eye, 
The young earl fondly smiled, 
And thus the secret of his love 
Was from his heart beguiled. 

XLVII. 

O wondrous are the ways of men, 
And passion's sudden changes, 
Through which the soul in one short hour 
With desperate action ranges ! 

XLVIII. 

That smile hath withered years of love : 
In Franz's burning spirit 
Ejected love's intensity 
Dark hatred doth inherit. 

XLIX. 

Dishonor to the spotless knight 
Becomes an airy sound ; 
And the red blood of Leopold 
Hath stained that garden ground. 

L. 

No scream, no cry from Adeline, 
But silent as the grave 
A snowy robe beneath the bridge 
Floats down the woodland wave. 

LI. 

Young Franz leaned on his reeking sword, 

And pitifully gazed 

Upon the white and ghastly face 

To the blue sky upraised. 



458 THE YELLOW-HAMMER. 

LIT. 

And, many a year of penance past, 
He in the vale of Thorl, 
An anchoret in sackcloth shirt, 
Was buried near the earl. 

LIII. 

Then far and wide the tidings spread 
Unto the Danube's shore ; 
Count Ferdinand from Hungary 
To Gosting came no more. 

LIV. 

And Gostmg Castle now is left 
Unto the wild white roses, 
And not a maid in Styria durst 
Wreathe one into her posies. 

LV. 

And daily on the pleasant stream 
The white leaves fall arnd shine, 
And float away beneath the bridge, 
Symbols of Adeline ! 



CLXV. 
THE YELLOW-HAMMER. 

i. 

A YELLOW-HAMMER in the rain ! 
And that on this Carinthian plain, 
So far, so far from home ! 
It fills me with old childish years : 
And then these happy, happy tears, 
Do what I will they come ! 



THE YELLOW-HAMMER. 459 

II. 

Behold him now : he never stops, 
Among the pattering raindrops 
A blithe disturbance making, 
Beating for ever on one key, 
Pleased with his own monotony, 
And his wet feathers shaking. 

in. 

What tender memories are bound 

To this familiar hedge-row sound ! 

The creature's homely glee 

Associates me with the hours, 

When, so pure childhood Avilled, all showers 

Were sunshine showers to me. 

IV. 

Away he goes, and hammers still 
Without a rule but his free will, 
A little gaudy Elf! 
And there he is within the rain, 
And beats and beats his tune again, 
Quite happy in himself. 

v. 

Within the heart of this great shower 
He sits, as in a secret bower, 
With curtains drawn about him : 
And, part in duty, part in mirth, 
He beats, as if upon the earth 
Rain could not fall without him. 



460 THE YELLOW-HAMMER. 

VI. 

Ah homely bird ! thou canst not know 
How far into my heart doth go 
That melancholy key, 
How from thy little straining throat 
Each separate, successive note 
Beats like a pulse in me. 

VII. 

Through blinding tears meek fancy weaves 

Far other fields, far other leaves, 

Than those by Drava's side ; 

For now the looks of long lost faces, 

And the calm features of old places, 

Like magic, round me glide. 

VIII. 

Thou art a power of other days, 
A voice from old deserted ways 
Obscured by trackless flowers, 
An echo of the childish past, 
Thus touchingly and strangely cast 
Into these foreign bowers. 

IX. 

O it was right and well with me 
When I could love a single tree 
As a green sanctuary, 
When I could in the meadow lie 
And look into the silky sky 
For hours, and not be weary ! 






THE YELLOW-HAMMER. 461 

X. 

Now over sea and over earth 
I pass with hollow, heated mirth 
Which doth but gender sadness, 
And with uneasy heart I range 
Through all the pageantry of change 
To gather moods of gladness. 

XI. 

Time flies, and life ; and mamy thought, 
Into unsunny currents wrought, 
Is in hoarse eddies wheeling : 
I am a man of growing wants, 
And I have many wayward haunts, 
Haunts both of thought and feeling. 

XII. 

When joys were simple, days were long, 

All woven into one bright throng, 

Like golden bees at play, 

One with another softly blending, 

As though they could not have an ending, 

And all were but one day. 

XIII. 

I thank thee, gentle bird ! for this ; 
Thou hast awakened childish bliss, 
A sweet monition given ; 
And willing tears for youthful sin 
Are fragrant rituals, that may win 
The old light back from Heaven. 



462 BAMBERG. 

XIV. 

And sure I am that summer day 
Ne'er shone on a more grand array 
Or gorgeous pomp of mountains ; 
And o'er the plain in shining rings 
The Drave with blithest murmurings 
Comes from his Alpine fountains : 

xv. 

And seen through this bright, dazzling rain 

How fair is yon Carinthian plain, 

A richly wooded park, 

Where groups of birch with silver stems 

Rise up, like sceptres of white gems, 

Among the fir-clumps dark. 

XVI. 

Yet am I cast upon lost years ; 

The Present is dissolved in tears ; 

So is this bird empowered ; 

An oracle upon the bough 

He sits, through him the Present now 

Is by the Past deflowered. 



CLXVI. 
BAMBERG. 

i. 

THERE are who blame sensations of delight, 
Born of our happy strength and cheerful health, 
As though we could lay by no moral wealth 
From the pulsations of mere joyous might. 



BAMBERG. 463 

II. 

How poor they make themselves who thus disown 
The fresh and temperate body's right to wait 
Upon the soul, and to exhilarate 
The heart with life from animal spirits thrown ! 

in. 

For me a very weight of moral wealth 
From the bright sun upon the ivy wall, 
And white clouds in the sky, doth gaily fall, 
Making my days a thanksgiving for health. 

IV. 

The whetting of the mower's scythe at morn, 
The odorous withering of the new-cut grass, 
Breeding I know not what enjoyment, pass 
Like a new world into my spirit borne. 

v. 

there are harvests from the buoyant mirth 
Which hath such power my nature to unbind, 
Letting my spirits flow upon the wind, 

As though I were resolved into the earth. 

VI. 

When I have bounded with elastic tread, 
Or floated, without root, a frolic breeze, 
Waked by the sunlight on the fields or seas, 
Moods of ripe thought have thence been harvested. 

VII. 

1 stood upon the Michaelsberg ; below, 
Into three cities cloven by the streams' 

Was ancient Bamberg, and the morning Deams 
Had touched a thousand gables with their glow. 



464 BAMBERG. 

VIII. 

Around, a dull expanse, did cornfields shine, 
The shallow Regnitz and the winding Maine 
Were coiled in ruddy links upon the plain, 
And lost beyond the pinewood's hard black line. 

IX. 

The radiance on the Minster roof was poured, 
And then above the convent's dusky bowers 
Sprung all at once the four illumined towers, 
As though St. Michael had unsheathed his sword. 

x. 

I thought not, Bamberg ! of thy bishops old, 
The rich Franconian church, or abbots gone 
To beard the emperor at Ratisbon, 
With saucy squires and Swabian barons bold. 

XI. 

But there I stood upon the dizzy edge, 
And saw a sight worth all the barons bold, 
A woven web of purple and of gold, 
A living web thrown o'er the rocky ledge. 

XII. 

It was a cloud of rooks in morning's beam, 
N Which, rising from the neighboring convent trees, 
With all their pinions open to the breeze, 
Swam down the steep in one majestic stream. 

XIII. 

It was a purple cataract that flung 

Jts living self adown a rocky rent, 

And midway in its clamorous descent 

The rainbow-glancing morning o'er it hung. 



BAMBERG. 465 

XIV. 

Some were of gold, which in a moment shifted 
Into a purple or a brilliant black, 
And some had silver dewdrops on their back, 
Changing as through the beams the creatures drifted. 

xv. 

Beneath, the multitudinous houses lay ; 

The living cataract one instant flashed 

Through the bright air, then on the roofs was dashed 

In seeming shower f gold and sable spray. 

XVI. 

I watched with joy the noisy pageant leap 
Into the quiet city ; and the thrill 
Of health did so my glowing body fill, 
That I would fain sail with it down the steep. 

XVII. 

I was beside myself; I could not think : 

A beauty is a thing entire, apart, 

And may be flung into a passive heart, 

And be a fountain there whence we may drink. 

XVIII. 

Ah me ! the morning was so cool and bright, 
And I so strong, and it was such a mirth 
To be so far away upon the earth, 
That I was overflowed with sheer delight. 

XIX. 

Away, like stocks and stones, went serious thought, 
Now buried in the foamy inundation, 
Now through the waves of exquisite sensation 
From time to time unto the surface brought. 
30 



46 C THE DAILY TIM-IK. 

XX. 

I rescued nothing, for I had no power ; 
And in the retrospect I dare to boast, 
I would not for a world of thought have lost 
The animal enjoyment of that hour ! 



CLXVII. 

THE DAILY TREE. 

i. 

QUEEN MAKY said that on her heart, 
Engraven there as with a dart, 
Transferred by bitter thought, 
The name of Calais would be found 
In cipher legible and round, 
By meditation wrought. 

n. 

And I believe that througn the eye 
. The household forms, which round us lie 
In sweet and shapely mass, 
Things daily touched and seen and heard, 
By sympathetic power transferred, 
Upon the spirit pass. 

in. 

In childish days there was to me 
A yearly vision of the sea ; 
And now within my soul 
I never cease to see and hear, 
In wood or mountain, far or near. 
That estuary roll. 



THE DAILY TREE. 467 

IV. 

My mother's voice, from this fair world 

Withdrawn long years ago, is furled 

In my retentive ear, 

And oft by sweet surprises taken, 

I hear familiar accents waken 

A startling echo near. 

v. 

I daily see an old Scotch fir, 

Of such a beauty as to stir 

My heart with joyous thrill : 

My days would scarce be what they are, 

If that tree were not always there, 

A shadow soft and still. 

VI. 

It is a pleasure overnight 

To think how morning's beams will light 

Its fan-like summit airy ; 

And sure I am that it must lie 

Pencilled upon my memory, 

Moonlit, and visionary. 

VII. 

There must be pictured on my soul 
Its ruddy and fantastic bole, 
Where snaky lights glide down ; 
For fancy frequent vision weaves 
Among its wiry, blue-green leaves, 
And quiet plumy crown. 



468 THE DAILY TREE. 

VIII. 

And when the breath of evening rocks 

That ancient tree with harmless shocks 

The two birds cradled there, 

With sea-like murmurs round them, ride, 

Their vessel anchored on the tide, 

A sweet love-mated pair. 

IX. 

I love thee, reverend old Tree 
For thou art verily to me 
Like some kind household god. 
What visitations of delight, 
What aspects mutable and bright 
Hast thou not daily showed ! 

x. 

didst thou grow in sunken dell, 
Within the sound of abbey -bell, 
Hard by the cloistered square, 
Like some illuminated book 
Would be thy variable look 
Unto the inmates there. 

XI. 

1 would some monk of olden times 

Had watched thee from the matin chimes 

Until the compline rung. 

And chronicled thy light and shade, 

In hieroglyphic show displayed, 

As thy broad branches swung. 



THE DAILY TREE. 469 

XII. 

Thou wouldst have been his world, a chaste 

And sinless record for thy past ; 

And yet a form to fear 

And meekly think of, as a thing 

That might its placid umbrage fling 

Upon his tombstone near. 

XIII. 

I have seen morning on it fall, 

And intersect its coronal 

With silver lines on high, 

And sunset clothe its giant limb 

In huge bronze armor, bright and dim 

In scales alternately. 

XIV. 

And when around its rugged waist 
The twilight's roseate air is braced 
In clasps of amethyst, 
It were a sceptre most sublime 
For fabulous kings of olden time, 
Wielded by giant wrist. 

xv. 

And oft with transmutation slow 
Have I beheld the rough stem glow, 
Red gold without a stain, 
When diligent wet mists come down 
And, dripping from the feathery crown, 
Burnish the bole with rain. 



470 THE DAILY TREE. 

XVI. 

And I have seen a weight of snow 
On its strained branches drooping low, 
Dividing the dense crown ; 
Like cares from off an old man's heart, 
All noiselessly the bent boughs part, 
And the white flakes fall down. 

XVII. 

And often in the breathless noon, 
Or else beneath the unclouded moon, 
It is absorbed on high ; 
But most I love its sable hue 
Imbedded in the yielding blue 
Of a translucent sky. 

XVIII. 

O quiet Image ! thou art lent 
To be a moral incident 
Each passing day to me, 
In all I do and all I think 
A gentle and restraining link, 
How much I owe to thee ! 

XIX. 

The wind rose up : our dreary way 
Through the Bavarian fir-woods lay, 
Near Rothenburg's old wall ; 
My own memorial fir-tree wrought 
Deep in my heart, with anxious thought 
Lest it that night should fall. 



TO MY READER. 471 

XX. 

Ye wild north winds ! that o'er the length 
Of moaning heath collect your strength, 
That noble fir-tree spare, 
When all the laurel-borders through 
Your sad triumphal road ye hew, 
And rend the coppice fair 

XXI. 

Be true to its old anchor, Earth ! 
That it may long a moral mirth 
Within the vale abide ! 
When I am gone I would that ye 
Should still enjoy that princely tree, 
Kind Hearts of Ambleside ! 



CLXVIII. 
TO MY READER. 

YOUNG Reader ! for most surely to the old 

These loose, uneven thinkings can but seem 

Unlife-like and unreal as a dream, 

O ! judge not thou that I have been too bold 

With sacred teaching, or have done it wrong 

To give fair form or sweetness to my song : 

Nor be thou wearied with the changeful vision, 

As though, with labored and unmeaning skill, 

I had but rifled fancy at my will, 

Or held her hidden order in derision. 

far from that : these fitful strains keep blending, 

Poorly yet truly, strivings gained or lost, 

By one in whom two tempers were contending, 

Neither of which had yet come uppermost. 



472 THE CHERWELL. 

CLXIX. 
THE CHERWELL. 

A DESCRIPTIVE POEM. 

SWEET inland Brook ! which at all hours, 
Imprisoned in a belt of flowers, 
Art drawing without song or sound 
Thy salient springs, for Oxford bound, 
Was ever lapse so calm as thine, 

Or water-meadows half so green, 
Or weeping weeds so long to twine 

With threads of crystal stream between ? 
Inglorious River ! I will be 
A laureate, self-elect, for thee. 
The quiet of this uncut field 
Fit room for minstrel-craft may yield ; 
And with my skiff beneath this bower, 
Thatched o'er with luscious elder-flower, 
No sound but my own murmur shall 
The local silence disenthral, 
Save when a coot at times may pass 
Between the blades of milky grass, 
Or with a momentary splash 
A rat between the tree- roots dash, 
Or, drowsy music ! sedge-stalks grind 
On one another in the wind. 
And thus to make his verse more free 
The river shall accompany 
The poet's voice, while up on high 
To their bright congress in the sky 



THE CHERWELL. 473 

The stars are trooping one by one, 
Though Chiltern still detains the moon 
To silver all his chalky side, 
And o'er that sea of beech-wood ride. 

O silent Cherwell ! once wert thou 
A minstrel river ; thou didst flow 
Gently as now, but all along 
Was heard that sweet itinerant song, 
Which thou hadst learnt in coming down 
From the rich slope of Helidon, 
The green-capped hill that overlooks 
Fair Warwick's deep and shady brooks, 
And blithe Northampton's meadow-nooks, 
Tamest of Counties ! with a dower 
Of humblest beauty rich, a power 
Only by quiet minds obeyed, ' 
And by the restless spurned, scant shade, 
And ruddy fallow, and mid these 
Rare meadows, foliage-framed, which please 
The leisure-loving heart, and line 
Where the slow-footed rivers shine", 
Upon whose reedy waters swim 
The roving sea-birds, on the brim 
Of flooded Nenna, in a fleet 
With a golden lustre lit, 
What time the short autumnal day 
Sets o'er the tower of Fotheringay. 
Not with the wild and echoing mountains, 
Helvellyn's lone cloud-suckled fountains, 
Or Langdale's trickling cliffs, or wells, 
Heath-hidden, on Blencathra's fells, 
Claimest thou kindred ; simple birth 



474 THE CHERWELL. 

Art thou a thing of common earth ! 
A spot more verdant than the rest 
Discerned upon the hoof-marked breast 
Of modest pasture, mid the haunts 
Of men and cattle, to their wants 
Endeared, there was thy cradle laid 
And not unsoothed by music, made 
In the clear spring, a prelude sweet 

To the artful strains and tinkling falls 
Wherewith thy swollen streams should greet 

Fair Isis under Oxford's walls. 

Thence wert thou known to steer thy flood 
To pierce the mead and thread the wood, 
And there with curious curves to search 
The screens of elm for every church, 
"Whose leaded roof and stunted tower 
Might lurk in some unthought-of bower. 
And thither didst thou wander down 

To lean thine ear in many a pool, 
Cinctured as with a mural crown 

Of jewelfed tansey, rank and cool, 
Where trailing sprays of eglantine 
Flung from the hawthorn bushes twine, 
Taking fresh root beneath our feet 
Amid the plumy meadow-sweet : 
While summer shepherded the flocks 
And starry herds of lady-smocks. 
There, when the rustic folk were maying, 
Wert thou with right good-will delaying, 
Until " the deep and solemn rings," * 

* " Famous ring of bells in Oxfordshire, called the Crossring." 
Note to Drayton's Polyolbion, Song XV., where "lusty Cher- 



THE CIIERWELL. 475 

Should time anew thy vocal springs, 
And they rehearse the borrowed song 
In every meadow all along 
Till thou shouldst mate thy breezy swells 
With the full peal of Oxford bells. 

Yes thou wert tuneful once : that day 
Be witness, when the rivers lay 

To their own praises proudly listening, 
And Chiltern's son, the boyish Thame, 
To wed the Lady Isis came, 

With his white marly waters glistening. 
Thou sang'st the bridal hymn, and all, 
The nimble Churn with sliding fall, 
The linked streams of Coin and Leech, 
And Yenload's darkling forest-reach, 
And Windrush, and all Cotswold springs, 
Praised thee with blithest murmurings, 
Praised thee and thy most tuneful air 
From flowery-meadowed Cisseter, 
To where the tower of Iffley looks, 
Intent on Bagley's greenwood nooks. 

Then wherefore do thy waters sl'eep 
In these hushed meadows buried deep, 
With lapse that scarce can stir the sedge 
And irises upon thine edge ? 
Ah me ! perchance the face of war, 
Here seen long years ago, might scare 
The pastoral powers and tuneful brood 
Who nightly from the reedy flood 

well" is represented as a " curious maker," who sang the praises 
of the rivers at the nuptials of Thame and Isis. 



476 THE CHERWELL. 

Breathed song-like whispers in the ear 

Of Saxon hind belated near. 

Thus o'er the earth are gentle things 

By rude things here and there displaced, 
While faith with kind reluctance clings 

To vestiges well-nigh effaced. 

'Twas strange the pomp of martial guards 
Should vex thy green sequestered fords, 
And brawling watchwords come and go 
Where now thy summer currents flow, 
And the old willow's bushy top 
O'ershadows yon hoof-printed slope, 
And twice an hour perchance, or less, 
The swaying hay-carts, as they press 
Through the deep stream and sinking road, 
Pay tithe from out their odorous load, 
Above unto the willow-bough, 
And to the gliding stream below, 
Still art thou mindful f the day 
When Charles beheld the disarray 
Of rebel foes upon the ridge 
That swells behind Cropredy Bridge, 
And parted streaks of crimson blood 
Profaned the hayfields and the flood. 
It was St. Peter's feast in June, 
A day of fragrant rain : at noon, 
Unbonneted and free, the king 
Dined where a lusty ash did fling 
A chequered shade upon the ground, 
While the wet grass still sparkled round. 
Yet, ere the querulous chimes rang three 
Within the streets of Banbury, 
Cleveland beneath the selfsame ash 



THE CHERWELL. 477 

Stood forth, and bade his horsemen dash 
In angry charge upon the foe 
Who thronged the Cher well banks below. 
Enough, meek Stream ! I will not wake 
Thoughts of rude triumph here, nor break 
The sylvan peace that suits so well 
The spirit of the local spell. 

Sweet Cherwell ! are thy hawthorn tents 
Fit havens for my summer boat, 
And fair the lily-isles which float, 

The stream's most touching incidents. 
Gay regions are they, stretching o'er 
A gleamy breadth, from shore to shore, 
From off the shelving tutf projecting, 

Of broad-lipped leaves compact and bright, 
With threads of water intersecting 

The flats of green embossed with white ; 
And strips of yellow nuphar, drawn 
In random lines across the lawn, 
Intrude their rows of golden wedges, 
Parting the fairy realm, like hedges, 
To shires and baronies, whereon 
Are set a court and garrison 
Of ladybirds and brilliant flies 
In green and gilded panoplies. 
There have I watched the downy coot 
Pacing with safe and steady foot 
The surface of the floating field, 
And, though the elastic floor might yield 
In chinks, and let the water flow 
In beads of crystal from below, 
Yet was the tremulous region true- 
To that rough traveller passing through. 



478 THE CHERWELL. 

But, as a buoyant vision, breathed 
From the poetic spirit, wreathed 
In chastely blending hues, and wrought 
With the strong tissue of rich thought, 
Fades off before the cheerless gaze 
Of cold and unimpassioned praise, 
Yet cannot perish, but each hour 
Is wooed into its place once more 
By feeling hearts, o'er all the earth 
Dwelling apart ; so this sweet birth, 
This meek and delicate creation, 

From the calm, fertile stream outpoured, 
Sinks like a graceful exhalation, 

To be t>y genial spring restored, 
Frail yet immortal, dying ever, 
And ever born within the river, 
A summer pageant, gay and fleeting, 

Robed like a bride in vivid white, 
Dispersed and broken by the greeting 

Of the first keen autumnal night. 

In flowery May or shady June 
Oft have I spent a vacant noon 
In Cherwell's matted hawthorn bowers 
Or coves of elder, while the hours 
In deep sensations of delight 
Sped past me with the silent might 
Of time unnoted, which for ever 
Sweeps onward like a voiceless river ; 
And now and then a most sweet thought 
Or outward beauty in me wrought 
With such blithe trouble as to bring 
The noontide's pleasant lingering 



THE GHERWELL. 479 

Most sensibly unto me : these, 

Like the soft shaking of a breeze, 

The pulse of summer in the trees, 

Were my sole hours, my notes of time, 

Joy striking joy, an inward chime 

Of silent song, yet not the less 

All resonant with cheerfulness. 

There, stretched at lazy length, I read, 

With boughs of blossom overhead, 

And here and there the liquid blue 

Of the smooth sky was melting through. 

In tranquil parties o'er the field, 

To gain what shade the boughs might yield, 

The sheep were clustered in a ring 

Beneath each hawthorn's fragrant wing : 

Only they did not seek to share 

The ample screen where I was laid, 
Though I was fain they should repair 

At peace with me to that broad shade, 
That in mute converse with the creatures 
And gazing on their patient features, 
I might recover some sweet sense 
Of our original innocence ; 
But in the light of human eyes 
Their guided instincts recognize 
Sin's presence, and in sacred fear 
Though unalarmed, they come not near. 

There ah ! 'tis years since did I pore 
The old Greek idylls o'er and o'er, 
Creating nooks of freshest green 
By mild sea-bays, the fancied scene 
Of those bright pastorals : but in sooth 
They were less lovely than the truth, 



480 THE CHERWELL. 

Less lovely than the spots of lawn 
Where I have mused in Greece, withdrawn 
From all intrusion, the gay shock 
Of childish voices, or the flock 
Threading the cliff with plaintive bleating, 
Or the wild goat's more gamesome greeting, 
And where no sound but one could be, 
The drowsy echo of the sea, 
With scarce a wave upon its breast 
Enough to rock a babe to rest. 
Mid arbutus and gaunt stone-pine 
The polished shafts of lentisk shine, 
With braided boughs of cytisus, 
And under-growths most odorous 
Of true Greek thyme with pale pink eyes : 
Ah ! many spots to memory rise, . 
Where beauty made the desolation 
Tenfold more sad, a reparation, 
So seemed it, of a tender sort 
By nature offered, to support 
Earth worn and weary with the wrong 
Which sin hath wrought on her so long : 
Thus gently pleading the defence 
Of her mute scenes, to recompense 
Her patient solitudes, intent 
Thereby to set within our reach 
This touching truth which it would teach, 
Man sins, but earth is innocent ! 
Thus oft upon the bank I lay, 
In dreams begetting many a bay 
Of desert Greece, to localize 
Some idyll, while with still surprise 
The modest, calm realities 



THE CHERWELL. 481 

Stole softly through my half-closed eye, 

The native river gliding by, 

The cradled lily's nodding flowers, 

And Oxford's hazy line of towers, 

The willow twinkling in the breeze, 

The incense of the elder trees 

What time the heats of noonday wooed 

The bright and fragrant solitude, 

Gentle recalls to summon back 

My wanton heart, as though for lack 

Of native beauty I had sought 

For scenes which only live in thought. 

And earth in plaintive answer brought 

The sweet vicinity to mind 

With gentlest urgency, confined, 

Yet oh how beautiful ! Each token, 

Like soft reproaches but half-spoken 

By those we love, with eloquence 

Mutely appealed to every sense 

Against my dreamy landscapes ; there 

The brilliant texture of the air, 

Clothing each form in purest white, 

Filled to the brim that exquisite 

Satiety of ear and eye 

Which deep mid-summer can supply, 

Just ere the autumnal gold invades 

The twilight of her leafy shades. 

There time set gently upon me 
In times of placid reverie, 
With scarce a murmur of sweet verse, 
And scarce a mood which could immerse 
My heart in solemn thought, soft streams 
Of most unfertile beauty, dreams 

31 



482 THE CHERWELL. 

Of indolent delight. Alas ! 

Smoothly as summer seemed to pass, 

Detached from every haunt of sin 

While all was sunny peace within, 

It was not innocent : for time 

Hath functions awful and sublime, 

And on its viewless lapse are traced 

Stern chronicles of all the past. 

A writing every sunset laid, 

"While heaven is still, within the shade 

Of Christ's high Throne, one day to be 

A part of the solemnity 

And pomp of Judgment : endless Woe 

Or endless Weal ! to some a show 

Of fiery cyphers, symbols dread 

Of guilty things unpardoned, 

Of wilful ways and idle mirth 

Unloosed by Holy Church on earth. 

And some there are to whom that scroll, 

Sad record still, may yet unroll 

A fairer vision, dark and bright, 

Like dawn o'er-mastering tardy night 

In dubious streaks, with here and there 

A firm and radiant character 

To angel's eyes not new, but known 

And recognized the Judge's Own. 

O Time ! O Life ! ye were not made 
For languid dreaming in the shade, 
Nor sinful hearts to moor all day 
By lily-isle or grassy bay, 
Nor drink at noon-tide's balmy hours 
Sweet opiates from the meadow-flowers. 



THE CHEKWELL. 483 

O give me grace, dear Lord ! to win 
Thy pardon for my youthful sin, 
For all the days, in woods embowered, 
When currents of soft thought o'erpowered 
With pleasant force the sense of duty, 
And gentle nature's harmless beauty, 
Too much adored, gave birth to throngs 
Of joys effeminate, and songs 
Which sprung from earth, and like a breeze 
Died wantonly among the trees, 
Without a moral or a mirth 
Above the passing bliss of earth ! 

But now doth evening's pensive wing 
Less of misleading beauty bring, 
And clothes insensibly the scene 
With sweeter, but more sober, green. 
The pageant of the noon gives place 
To eveningjs tenderness, a grace 
As soft, nay softer, and more holy, 
And with some tinge of melancholy 
Endeared and chastened, and a balm 
Of palpable and breathing calm 
By songs of birds confessed, and flowers 
That wave more gaily in their bowers, 
And gentle kine that graze once more 
Spotting the misty pastures o'er, 
And flocks of rooks that settle down 
Upon the elms which gird the town. 

And see the sun ! how well he sets 
Behind those triple minarets 
Of silent poplar ! All is still, 
But that one thrush upon the hill : 
And now and then a flight of wind 



484 THE CHERWELL. 

The glassy current will unbind, 

Driving the ripples to the edge 

Among the spikes of rustling sedge. 

Now evening lends her rosy hue 

With liquid colors to bedew 

The hoary stone and chapel gray 

Where Austin's monks were wont to pray. 

And strangely in the crimson west 

Doth Atlas seem awhile to rest 

On the star-gazing tower,* where he 

For years hath stooped full wearily 

Bearing the world, in patient sign 

That He who bears it is divine 

And yet true Man ; and in the heart 

Of many sunsets hath had part, 

Prompting that lesson to mine eye, 

While pictured on the glowing sky 

In dark colossal effigy. 

O many an evening have I been 
Entranced upon that glorious scene, 
When silent thought hath proved too strong 
For utterance in tranquil song. 
There intermingling with the trees 
The city rose in terraces 
Of radiant buildings, backed with towers 
And dusky folds of elm-tree bowers. 
St. Mary's watchmen, mute and old, 
Each rooted to a buttress bold, 
From out their lofty niche looked down 

The figures (for I believe there is more than one) that sup- 
port the globe on the Observatory, viewed from Cherwell, which 
lies to the east, have the effect of a single figure, seen in relief 
against the sun setting over Cumnor or Whyteham. 



THE CHERWELL. 

Upon the calm monastic town, 

Upon the single glistering dome, 

And princely Wykeham's convent home. 

And the twin minarets that spring 

Like buoyant arrows taking wing, 

And square in Moorish fashion wrought 

As though from old Granada brought, 

And that famed street, whose goodly show 

In double crescent lies below, 

And Bodley's court, and chestnut bower 

That overhangs the garden wall, 
And sheds all day white flakes of flower 

From off its quiet coronal. 
Methinks I see it at this hour, 

How silently the blossoms fall ! 

Strange scene it is which they behold, 
These watchmen on St. Mary's pile, 
Who see the noiseless moonlight smile 
On spires and pinnacles untold, 
Whose ranks may baffle every eye 

That vainly would their number know, 
And roofs which rear the Cross on high 

In grave and monitory show : 
Strange scene it is which mortal gaze 
But rarely mounts on high to praise, 
A region where for ever dwells 
The tremulous throbbing of the bells, 
Encircling, every turret there 
With close embrace of tuneful air, 
While oft the very stones respire 
With the deep anthems of the choir, 
A world above our world, a ground 



486 THE CHEHWELL. 

Thus tenanted by form and sound, 
A costly region, day and night 
Laid open to angelic sight ! 

There, mid the shade scarce visible, 
The suburb of the Holy Well 
With low-browed Church doth seem to guard 
The ancient city's northern ward ; 
And barely might the eye discover 
Through the green umbrage stooping over, 
The battlemented wall that bounds 
The mitred Waynfleet's sumptuous grounds, 
The sweet-briar court and cloistered way 
And mimic glade where deer may stray, 
And the two sunny angles where 
The almond and the cypress are, 
And, graceful three! those brother trees, 
That meet and part with every breeze, 
The birch that weeps upon the sward, . 
Yet with the plane-tree serves to guard 
The light acacia's fluttering shade 
In pearly pendants all arrayed. 
And in the meadow-island there 
As to the breeze the willows bare 
Their silver-sides, and wave about, 
The practised eye may then find out, 
Close-hidden, when the wind is still, 
The weedy roof of Magdalen mill. 

But now the leaves are darker grown, 
And o'er the fields a shade is thrown 
Of soft transparent gloom : the stream 
Shines with subdued but steadfast gleam 
Through the dusk veil of twilight air, 
And the white lilies waver there, 



THE CHEEWELL. 487 

Like distant lights borne up and down 

In anchored ship or midnight town. 

The stars are clear and strong, but soon 

The light of the unrisen moon 

With soft infusion through the sky 

Mingles apace, and up on high 

The stars wax dim, while purple night, 

Thus weakened by the stealthy light, 

Translucent grows as crystal bay 

Of Midland sea on summer day. 

But now above the willow tops 

That cluster there, a silvery copse 

Which doth an earthy pool infold, 

With prow and stern of ruddy gold 

The crescent lifts itself, to ride 

With Hesperus sparkling at its side 

Almost in contact, night by night 

Divided more and more, as light 

Yet mournful sign, as though it were 

That in the worlds of upper air 

Rude separations still might come 

To souls in their eternal home. 

But though our heart such vision grieves, 

And though it visibly bereaves 

The evenings of their special grace, 

Yet had we but the gift to trace 

The wisdom of the starry sky, 

No gloomy types would meet our eye, 

And to the signs so sweetly wrought, 

By moon and stars, there should be nought 

But kind interpretations given ; 

For there are no farewells in heaven. 



488 THE CHERAVELL. 

Behold ! as night succeeds to eve, 
The owls with sombre plumage leave 
Their cloisters in the hollow trees, 
And shed sad voices on the breeze 
All up the moonlit vale. The dew 
Falls on the flowers which shed anew 
Their simple fragrance : and the river 
Far off in many a reach doth quiver, 
Outstretching like a lucid creature, 
Appearing scarce an earthly feature, 
Upon the nightly landscape, here 
Embraced within some thicket near 
In calm obscurity, and there 
Emerging to the radiant air, 
A coiled and gleamy flickering line 
Among the meadows serpentine, 
Broken by intervening boughs 
Through which the lovely crescent glows 
Upon the dimpled waters. Sweet 
The wandering poet's eye to meet 
Are quiet fields by moonlight seen 
With groups of white, recumbent sheep, 
Where elm-cast shadows dimly green 
On the dew-beaded pasture sleep. 

But now awhile on vale and hill 
The loveliness of night is still ; 
The beautiful mutations stop 
On field and stream and dark tree-top, 
Only the shadows somewhat shift, 
And the bright stars a little drift 
Across the sloping sky : so slow 
The moving pageant seems to go 
We might l)elieve that for some cause 



THE CHERWELL. 489 

The spheres at midnight made a pause, 
And heaven and earth in awe sublime 
Stayed to receive new graats of time, 
And new permission to delight 
The race of men with day and night. 

Now in the east there is a stir 
Of powers that wait to minister 
Unto the sunrise, and a blooming 
Prophetic of his far-off coming. 
The sluggish spires of chilly steam 
Are twisting o'er the silent stream, 
And from the willow-grounds are breathing, 
And round the haycocks slowly wreathing, 
Until they stand, each side by side, 
Within the vapor magnified, 
Like dim and visionary things 
Seen through the smoke of magic rings. 
The air is waxing bright and chill, 
Though yet the doubtful lark is still ; 
And in the whitening sky the trees 
Grow black and keen as day is breaking, 
While here and there a creeping breeze 
The huge dew-laden boughs-is shaking. 
And see! St. Mary's vane aloft 
Glows like a star serene and soft, 
And doth with secret influence reach 
The sun whose rising it doth preach ; 
As holy Church will once descry, 
By power of her ascetic eye, 
The Advent of her Bridegroom nigh. 

So have I dreamed with pure delight 
A visionary day and night 



490 THE CHERWELL. 

On Cherwell's banks : thus song could stir 

In me a willing minister 

To my sick brother. With a tear 

I left behind the crystal mere, 

Deep summer out upon the hills, 

The dusky deans, the cool-breathed rills, 

And, shaded in the tender gloom 

And silentness of his sick room, 

Hour after hour brought o'er my sense 

A most pathetic influence. 

The careful step, the voice subdaed 

My heart with meek advances wooed 

To softer images ; while nigh, 

Beneath the window, glided by 

TKe earthy Cherwell, strangely shrunk 

So long had thirsty summer drunk 

Of its spare stream. And up the river, 

I watched the radiant network quiver 

Beneath the bridge ; and oft there came, 

Swift as a meteor's shooting flame, 

A king-fisher from out the brake, 

And almost seemed to leave a wake 

Of brilliant hues behind ; and couched 

On the close sward the deer had slouched 

Their heads, and watched the currents pass, 

While ears and antlers in the grass 

With restless movement twinkled. There 

The elm swung lightly on the air, 

And many a fickle willow drooped. 

While the laborious current scooped 

The moist earth from its roots, and wore 

A deep beneath the o'erhanging shore, 

A summer refuge alway cool, 



THE CHERWELL. 491 

Where in the dark sequestered pool 

Among the fibres of the tree 

The curious eye may often see 

A little crew of silver dace 

Self-prisoned in that shadowy place. 

And sheets of lawn with verdant brows 

Just glimmered through the veil of boughs. 

Or in the sloping sunset twinkled 

Like a smooth golden lake breeze-wrinkled, 

A long broad lake of meadow-grass, 

Where winds and slanting sunbeams pass, 

And intershot with gold and green 

In fluted lines with rows between 

Of gilded field-flowers that appear 

Like ripples on a crystal mere ; 

And that fair land-lake stiller lies 

And better wins the wandering eyes 

To fixed delight, than if the face 

Of silent waters filled the place. 

And nightly up the watery glade 
By stealth the russet autumn strayed, 
While here and there a leaf was seen 
Forswearing summer's darksome green, 
And every day a gem or two 
Were freshly braided on the yew, 
And yet so slowly it might seem 
The wayward eye did rather dream, 
If poet's eye could e'er misread 
The least of nature's signs, which feed 
His simple heart. And haunted so, 
Watching the Cherwell daily flow, 
I sang of him, his fields and flowers, 
The transmutations of the hours, 



492 THE CHERWELL. 

The tranquil day, the starry night, 

The alternations of delight, 

Which on this simple river shower 

Methinks a more than common dower 

Of placid beauty : and meanwhile, 

Though every form without did smile, 

My tender office hourly wrought 

A shade to blend with sunny thought, 

And the sick-room itself could bring 

Somewhat of pensive hallowing 

For fancy's chastisement. Sweet Stream ! 

O mayst thou be a cheering gleam 

Long unwithdrawn ; and when oppressed 

By a sick spirit's sad unrest, 

May nature's forms a fountain prove 

For faith unfailing, and a love 

That breeds submission ! May they bear, 

It is no light unworthy prayer, 

Such pure and blameless joy to me, 

When I shall disenfranchised be, 

Of rough heathside and open air ! 

And better still if I could lie 
Waiting for death, and azure sky, 
Cool forest, and the keen-breathed hill, 
And freshening sounds of dashing rill, 
The long-loved cuckoo's woodland call, 
And the wildness of the waterfall, 
And holy ocean's solemn shore, 
Might be uucoveted, nay more, 
All unremembered, and mine ear 
Be deaf to those kind neighbors near 
Who speak of sun and fields and air 



THE ClIERWELL. 493 

And garden flowers, as though they were 
A part of me, or they could be 
Where I am then, on Calvary, 
A flowerlesa- mountain, where the Cross 
My patient thoughts may well engross. 

And better still if I could dare 
To pray the Saint's exclusive prayer, 
And with bold fervor ask of Heaven 
More thorns and griefs than it hath given. 
So might I lie, in love with pain, 
And, like a miser with his gain, 
Handle the aching limb, to feel 
More palpably how pangs can heal 
Sin's wounds, and how beyond all price 
The sweetness of self-sacrifice, 
And what strange pleasures pain may bring 
As being a holy Christlike thing, 
And the repentant soul how still 
Beneath the weight of God's sweet Will, 
So might I lie, in saintly strait * 
Whether to sue for death or wait 
That I might suffer more, and bear 
The Cross a little further, dare 
A little more to match the Road 
Of Dolors which our Saviour trod. 

* S. Theresa. Pati et mori. S. Mary Magdalen of Pazzi. Patire 
e non morire. The latter Saint on her deathbed uttered these 
remarkable words : Sappiate che 1'esercitio del patire 6 cosa 
hi ii to pregiata e nobile, che il Verbo trovandosi nel Seno del suo 
terno Padre, abbondantissimo di ricchezxe e delitie di Paradiso, 
perche non era ornato della stola del patire venne in terra per 
rjuesto orn.amento, e questo era Dio, che non si potea ingannare. 
They arose perhaps from a confused remembrance in her mind of 
a wonderful passage in the eleventh chapter of Tauler's Institutes. 



494 KAMPARTS AT AXGOULEME. 

So might I lie, in peace how deep ! 
So, like an infant, fall asleep, 
While suffering cradled me to Test, 
Like Jesus, at our Lady's breast. * 



CLXX. 
ON THE RAMPARTS AT ANGOULEME. 

WHY art thou speechless, O thou setting Sun ? 
Speak to this earth, speak to this listening scene 
Where Charente flows among the meadows green, 
And in his gilded waters, one by one, 
The inverted minarets of poplar quake 
With expectation, until thou shall break 
The intolerable silence. See ! he sinks 
Without a word ; and his ensanguined bier 
Is vacant in the west, while far and near 
Behold ! each coward shadow eastward shrinks. 
Thou dost not strive, O Sun, nor dost thou cry 
Amid thy cloud-built streets ; but meek and still 
Thou dost the type of Jesus best fulfil, 
A noiseless revelation in the sky. 



CLXXI. 
THE OLD FRENCH TELEGRAPHS. 

i. 

Ox many a treeless knoll and lofty church, 
Or on the unsteady fabric of a keep 
More than half ruined, or a natural steep, 



THE OLD FRENCH TELEGRAPHS. 495 

These wizard ministers of science perch, 
Like some dark birds that for awhile alight, 
To dress their pinions for a longer flight. 
For such against the cloudless azure seem 
Their long black fans, now raised as if to soar, 
Now slowly furled as though the flight were o'er: 
Mute, mute and busy, even like a dream, 
Telling a stirring tale, and yet as still 
As the sweet stars, or with a murmuring 
Soft as the wafture of a stockdove's wing, 
Or breeze that chafes the poplars on the hill. 

n. 

What though it write its ciphers on the sky, 
With graceless gesture, yet that wondrous Hand, 
Waving from steep to tower across the land, 
Annulling space, apt symbol may supply 
To clothe grave thoughts withal : from Calais gate 
To old Bayonne, from Alps to Pyrenees, 
Yon silent words outstrip the wind, and freight 
The slanting sunbeam with their messages. 
Such are the signals, beckoning night and day 
Through the wide camp of Angels that essay 
Even now this glorious kingdom to recast 
With patient art in faith's magnificent mould, 
To make it saintly as the France of old, 
And rivet once again its broken past. 

in. 

God speed the blissful work, thou famous land 
And do not thou the unearthly change reprove ; 
Since He, who left thee with reluctant love 
To thine own ways, again puts forth His Hand. 



496 NEW ROME. 

O France ! all license gained is but a loss 

Of liberty ; and thou wert then most free 

When thou wert proud, with blameless pride, to be 

Nought but the foremost vassal of the Cross. 

Is it the Midland Sea, or do I hear 

Celestial converse in the olives near ? 

" Our task is half complete : the Civil Power, 

Outworn with ills which it hath overcome, 

Falls back upon the Holy Church, and Rome 

In trembling expectation waits the hour !" 



CLXXII. 
CONSTANTINOPLE, OR NEW ROME. 

FROM THE HILL ABOVE THE MOSQUE OF EYOUB. 
I. 

SWEET-BREATHING May is on the Golden Horn, 

And that can be no star which I behold 

Fixed in the cloudless noon, a spot of gold 

Bright as the single orb which doth adorn 

The rosy flush of morn. 

O that it were an emblem half so chaste, 

Or one which to a Christian stranger's eye 

Read no reproachful comment on the past! 

See, how it shines, how starlike up on high 

In its tranquillity ! 

It is the prophet's Crescent mutely gleaming, 

And far across the blue Propontis streaming 

From St. Sophia's stately cupola ; 

And I, all wrapped in melancholy dreaming, 



NEW ROME. 497 

In spite of sunny May, 

Could weep the hours away 

For ages past, which to my vision rise 

With solemn pomp of bitter memories. 

n. 

Here, in sweet Eyoub, May's scent-laden breath 
Steals through the cypress vistas faint and cool, 
And gathered round me are the beautiful 
And soothing sights of this voluptuous faith, 
Veiling the woe of death. 
The minarets with gleamy shafts repose 
Within the green embraces of a plane, 
Whose lower boughs a very realm of rose 
With countless links of flower doth interchain, 
And mounting blends again 
With pendant bowers of quince, all blossoming, 
White as a snow-wreath in the eye of spring, 
Whose lithe twigs trail in fringes on the ground ; 
And flights of sacred pigeons on the wing, 
And turtles heard all round, 
As though a natural sound 

From the sad cypress breathed, my fancy wooed, 
A paradise of earthly solitude. 

in. 

See, how the cypress fastens on the steep 
With its red starting roots, and slanting throws 
Its sable spires in endless leaning royys, 
Just tremulously stirred when breezes creep, 
By fits from off" the deep ! 
The pointed arch, the floor of withered leaves, 
The architecture of the sombre glade, 
The nightingale doth claim ; and there he grieves, 
32 



498 NEW ROME. 

Well pleased to have that night-by-day, the shade 

Perpetually made 

By the dusk foliage for his shrinking eye ; 

And there he dwells, renouncing the blue sky 

For ever, and with mournful heart beguiles 

His penitence of life-long melody ; 

And in the shadowy aisles 

The sun through green mists smiles, 

Save when the wind may part the graceful plumes, 

For eve to gild the. turban-headed tombs. 

IV. 

Not weary is the weight of sober thought, 

When we can read in nature's genial eye 

An answer to our own solemnity, 

And all the images around, untaught 

By our own mood, are fraught. 

With an inherent sadness. Yet oh never 

Was there a spot on earth where melancholy 

Should be more sued with purpose and endeavor 

And greedy welcome, or should be more wholly 

A growth of nature, slowly 

And deeply spiritual, than the glooms 

Of these cool leafy crypts, whose airy plumes 

Speak low as if endued with some dim sense 

Of what they symbolize ! There, mid the tombs 

I lie, and viewed from thence, 

In contrast most intense, 

Doth the poor desecrated city seem 

All beautiful and clear as childhood's dream. 

v. 

Not the soft transit of a summer cloud 
Doth interrupt that eastern show : the sea 



NEW ROME. 499 

Reflects the unstained heaven, and airs are free 

To bend the falling fountains in the proud 

And jealous screens that shroud 

The mosque's refulgent domes; and in the limes, 

Which gird Suleiman's cloister, from his cell 

The stockdove emulates the lisping chimes 

Of the Propontid breeze, or rustling swell 

Born of the invisible 

And restless spirit of the Euxine. There 

The sweet creation, innocently fair, 

In nought doth its magnificent office miss : 

The blessing circulates through sea and air, 

And the original bliss 

Of earth unfettered is ; 

Yet o'er the heart a humbling shade is cast, 

While thought confronts the present with the past. 



A ceremonial comes ! Before mine eye 

A twin procession through the tombs doth press, 

With angel pursuivants, in silentness. 

Slowly the phantom-pageant glimmers by, 

The twofold destiny, 

Dimly impersonated, of old Rome, 

Mother and mistress of the western world, 

And this fair city, Constantine's new home, 

A Christian vision suddenly unfurled 

When the false gods were hurled 

From their foul thrones. See how the figures climb 

The hill of Eyoub in array sublime, 

And yet with difficult slowness, like the old, 

Laic or priestly, who at holy time 

Are fain to be enrolled 



500 NEW ROME. 

In some procession, bold 

In heart, but soon heat-stricken left and weary 

Outside the portal of the sanctuary. 

VII. 

So seemed those destinies but half fulfilled, 

For each in working out its doom had faltered, 

And, once again renewed, had swerved, and altered 

The orbit wherein God its mission willed ; 

And each methought had spilled 

Somewhat of the quick life which had been given 

Unto them for an instinct, oft impelling 

Their awful fortunes, like the Hand of Heaven, 

Across the unwilling earth, a strange indwelling 

Mysteriously swelling 

Through the tumultuous records of the past : 

In more than mortal mould their deeds were cast, 

Cities anointed to a singular doom 

And in a special law of fate embraced : 

Yet, ah ! thou , pagan Rome, 

And thou, bright eastern home ! 

Ye both have failed, world-stricken left and weary, 

Short of the ends which were your sanctuary. 

VIII. 

If we believe no more than what we see, 
How undivine is earth ! If to the sense 
There be no seams of mighty providence, 
No lucid furrows by some past degree 
Worn on the land or sea, 
Is not the world a cipher we have lost ? 
Nay, rather let us in her cities kneel, 
Pilgrims not idly borne from coast to coast, 
And kiss the footprints of the Invisible, 



NEW ROME. 501 

Which haply we may spell 

In vision true, inscriptions half effaced, 

Where with His Church in ancient times He passed ; 

And let us sink in adoration down 

Before the dark prophetic shadows cast 

On destined field or town,- 

Through sin there earthward thrown, 

Here for awhile drawn backward at the prayer 

Of the weak saints who thrones and states upbear. 

IX. 

Hail, mighty Rome, that in the panoply 

Of thy past greatness still art bravely clad ! 

Slowly didst thou emerge from out the shade, 

Till thou hadst filled the terror-stricken eye 

Of wide humanity : 

Yet not from the majestic heathen ruin 

Of thy first self couldst thou e'er extricate 

Thy second life : for there was no undoing 

The yet unsated curse which doth await 

Thy lingering secular State : 

Albeit Christ's Holy Church, upon thy hill 

A sojourner, detains a blessing still, 

And woos the impending wrath awhile to pause. 

Dread city ! yet she doth but half fulfil 

Her office, while she draws 

By mediaeval laws 

The Church and World augustly into one, 

And, for men's sins, leaves the grand work undone. 

x. 

See this fair birth of British Constantino, 
Which, like a sweet disdainful vision, loth 
To brook the tardy pace of common growth, 



502 NEW ROME. 

Sprang from the shore, even as a quivering line 

Of sudden lamps doth shine 

Upon a festal night! And there advanced, 

The very outpost of the Christian East, 

Like a memorial beacon-fire it glanced 

Through the vexed ages, till the light decreased 

Slowly from less to least. 

A sign might this uncradled city be 

Of the new power and virgin unity, 

Wherewith the founder hoped to recement 

The fissures in the outworn majesty 

Of ancient Rome, intent 

To make that element 

A trick of State : there ! see the type unfurled ! 

The Church brooks no alliance with the world. 

XI. 

Ah, how the past is crowding on mine eyes ; 

A stirring maze with nodding figures blent, 

Like rings uncleared before the tournament ! 

Through all the streets I hear the midnight cry, 

When Arius from on high 

Was struck ; and down into the cypress gloom, 

Hailing the mystic colors, strangely fall 

The fourfold clamors of the Hippodrome : 

And with wild surge outside yon bulging wall 

The Latin armies call 

For entrance : and amazed I hear the clash, 

And see the foamy war-horse madly dash 

Across the pavement, like a mirror, lying 

Around the altar, and the lamplights flash 

Upon the virgins flying, 

And the rude conqueror crying 



NEW EOME. 503 

" For God and Mahomet," while at the word 
Sophia's Angel sheathes his guardian sword. 

XII. 

O scene thrice beautiful ! the tier on tier 

Of mulberry-tinted houses by the spires 

Of cypress intersected, and the fires 

Of countless crescents topped, while, like a mere, 

The blue sea murmurs near. 

O'er terrace, tower, and gleamy-roofed kiosk 

A dipping cloud of foliage lightly swings, 

And on that cypress thicket by the mosque 

The royal fleet its crimson pennants flings, 

Like magic blossomings 

Wooed from the sombre trees by sunny May, 

The fair Seraglio Point appears to sway, 

Like a trim galley, at her anchorage 

Between two seas. Ah me ! on such a day 

From out the bright mirage 

We scarce can disengage 

Sunshine and shadow, doubtful if it be 

True city or an eastern phantasy. 

XIII. 

There is in this fair spot a Turkish faith, 
Which prophesies, though in its own despite, 
And is unto my wandering hopes a light, 
That they with calmer grace can bow to death, 
Secure to lie beneath 
The hallowed soil of Asian Scutari ; 
Europe, to whose impatient skirts they cling, 
Once more a bodily Christendom shall be, 
And on the Bosphorus shall sweet bells ring 
With ancient welcoming. 



504 A COLD DAY IN MAY. 

Like faith is mine ; though on the flowery steeps, 

By oath detained, Sophia's Angel weeps 

O'er the imperial city's demon-trance ; 

Yet his kind, prescient vigil there he keeps, 

And with unruffled glance 

Looks o'er the dim expanse 

Of Euxine, where the vast prophetic scroll 

The patient North doth visibly unroll ! 



CLXXIII. 

A COLD DAY IN MAY. 

i. 

SPRING ebbed into the lakes and streams, 
Or to the earth'*" warm heart ; 
And stalk and leaf, as with a dart, 
Were pierced by winter's backward gleams ! 
O May ! O treacherous May ! these months are very 
dreams. 

n. 

The clattering winds above me rolled, 

Like chariots in a flight ; 

The sky was veined with blue and white, 
With here and there some cheerless gold ; 
The very brightness was no joy, it was so cold. 

in. 
But ah ! with those true southern eyes 

And olive-shaded brow, 

Beneath the half-clothed linden bough, 
A boy begins his melodies : 
And now I live and breathe in pure Italian skies. 



THE FOUR GOSPELS. 505 

IV. 

How vine-like is yon eglantine ! 

How genial grows the day ! 

And see ! up Rothay's gleaming way 
How sweetly Arno's waters shine ; 
And thou, dear Fairfield ! art a well-known Apennine ! 

v. 

Thus cold is manhood's summer day ; 

And grace perchance may be 

In part the blissful memory 
Of Christian childhood's marvellous ray, 
Ere the bad world had scared celestial sights away. 

VI. 

Our penance, then, doth but retrace 

A former road ; we see 

The scenes reversed, and, it may be, 
Dim through our tears ; and what is grace 
But Heaven's lost song on earth, most sweetly out of 
place? 



CLXXIV. 
THE FOUR GOSPELS. 

I WAS in .vision in a drear old place, 

Where bodied and unbodied voices ranged, 

And where the outward semblance hourly changed 

From a huge vacant minster, to the face 

Of a lone valley mid the rock-strewn hills ; 
And now it was the wind within the nave 
Which spoke to me, and now the murmuring wave, 

Catching the boughs that drooped upon the rills : 



506 THE FOUR GOSPELS. 

Yet, whether it were mountain-vale, or shrine 
By cheerful ordinance untenanted, 
The vision was but single, and outspread 

lu various unity like things divine. 

And though its pictured forms and mystic tongue 
Were strange to me, and though my barren sense 
Was all unwrought to such intelligence 

By stern ascetic life, yet while it sung, 

Pouring forth strains of sweetness too profound 
To be an earth-born song, my spirit drunk 
Deep of the fertile waters till they sunk 

Within my heart, and for a season drowned 

The world and sin ! Ah me ! I feel them now, 

Waking with strength refreshed from that short sleep ; 
So will I strive once more my soul to steep 

In that wild song, and with the prophet go, 

Not unalarmed, by Chobar's radiant banks, 
And, kneeling far aloof in reverent fear, 
In spirit bid the holy man go near, 

And softly sing what of cherubic ranks 

He haply may behold, where o'er his head 
O Lord, that I had faith that sight to see, 
Which o'er my head this hour I know to be ! 

The inner Heavens are visibly outspread. 

But hark ! the song begins, while to the north 
The priestly bard, o'er dim Chaldean plains 
And misty brooks, his eye of rapture strains, 

And lo ! a cloudy whirlwind driving forth ! 

He sings ! he sings ! how by the river side 
From out the self-infolding Cloud there came 
An amber brightness, wings and wheels of flame, 

And Four mysterious creatures, many-eyed, 

With lamps that ran forth from them and returned ; 



THE CHURCH DIAL. 507 

As when the clouds are every moment riven, 
Then seem to catch their flashes back to heaven, 

Even so the lightnings of that vision burned ; 

And underneath their wings, but half-concealed, 
A human hand was resting, which might seem 
To give sweet right to draw that waking dream 

Unto ourselves, as though there were revealed 

Therein the fortunes of our fallen race, 

And what great things might haply yet be ours, 
More than retrieving Eden's perished bowers, 

With Four fresh streams of more than Eden's grace. 



CLXXV. 
THE CHURCH DIAL. 

I. 

BENEATH me was the misty sea, 

O'er which a beetling summit hung, 

And, half way up, a blasted tree 
With creaking branches swung : 

The yellow crowsfoot blossomed there, 

And juicy samphire to the bare 
And lean rock clung. 

ii. 

And sweetly to the very edge 

The soft and thymy greensward crept, 
And, hanging slightly o'er the ledge, 

Perpetually wept 

With drippings from a hidden spring, 
Heard only when the murmuring 

Of ocean slept. 



508 THE CHURCH DIAL. 

III. 

There, almost stooping o'er the wave, 
A rustic chapel stood ; below 

The sea had hollowed out a cave 
With labor long and slow ; 

And it was plain that any shock 

That church from off its brow of rock 
Might overthrow. 

IV. 

And many a simple heart would grieve 
At this rude sacrilege of time, 

Who loved for prayer, at morn or eve, 
The chalky downs to climb, 

While to their litanies the wave, 

With its eternal thunder, gave 
Response sublime. 

v. 

So plaintively the soft sea wailed, 
So blue and breezy were the skies, 

So tranquilly the white ships sailed 
x ln pomp before my eyes, 

The very sweetness of it all 

Did there my willing spirit call 
To moralize. 

VI. 

The dial on the chapel side 

With ivy tendrils was entwined, 

As though the flight of time to hide 
Were office true and kind ; 



THE CHURCH DIAL. 509 

While, on the breath of ocean borne, 
The restless shoots in playful scorn 
Waved unconfined. 



VII. 

This incident, the quiet hour, 
The sanctity of that lone place, 

Conspired to give the sight a power 
Of true pathetic grace ; 

And, as I gazed on it, methought 

That somewhat of a sign was wrought 
For me to trace. 

VIII. 

For I interpreted the gesture, 

To illustrate how holy faith 
Was the pure soul's unfading vesture, 

The Saint's immortal wreath ; 
And, with significance sublime, 
It taught how faith abolished time 

By killing death. 

IX. 

Mute preacher ! pensive evergreen ! 

O may I learn, this day, from thee, 
The obscure sage of this lone scene 

Hard by the mighty sea, 
How faith may, through Another's merit, 
For all the sons of time inherit 

Eternity ! 



510 TO THE BOTH AY. 

CLXXVI. 
TO THE ROTHAY 

WHEN ITS COURSE WAS CHANGED, AND THE WRITER WA!? 
ABOUT TO LEAVE ITS NEIGHBORHOOD. 

Commit thy way to the Lord, and trust in Him, and He will do it. PSALM 
xxxvi. 5. 

GENTLE Stream, that from the mountains 

Here invokest many a rill, 

While two lakes thy channel fill, 

Lading from their own sweet fountains 

Waters which for thee they h,oard, 

In softly throbbing pulses poured ! 

Gentle Stream ! I mourn for thee, 

And the pleasant liberty 

Guiding once thy twinkling feet 

Down the vale in measures fleet 

And mazy circuits ; all is o'er, 

Thou must wander forth no more, 

Compassing the meadow-lands 

With silver links and watery bands, 

Quickening noonday's loitering breeze 

Languid grown mid sweetnesses 

Of drowsy flowers, or by the trees 

In the solid summer shade 

A silent captive haply made. 

All is o'er ; thy various strain 

Never shall be heard again, 

Mimicing old ocean's shock 

Against some puny cape of rock, 



TO THE BOTH AY. 511 

Chanting here from side to side, 
There by lisping boughs supplied 
With a tremulous response 
When thou dost thy waves ensconce 
In pools unruffled, deep and still, 
Where thou hast gnawed into the hill 
Hollow chambers mouldering ever 
With soft splash into the river, 
Unless the damp their sides emboss 
With green ligaments of moss. 

All is o'er ; a channel rude 
Straight among the rocks they hewed, 
Walls along the banks they led, 
And, by trenching deep thy bed, 
Bade the hurrying stream absorb 
Peaceful bays where many an orb 
Of silent star was sweetly glassed 
In the moonless midnights passed. 
And with expectation vain 
Couched upon yon marshy plain, 
Oft the valley's ear hath grieved, 
Of her music thus bereaved, 
And the interchange once brought her 
Of broken fall and sleeping water. 

Now along the banks I roam, 
Soon to leave my mountain-home, 
And the melancholy thought 
Hath an inward shadow wrought, 
From beneath whose covert, hills, 
Wintry woods, and frothy rills, 
And the lake-like meads, appear 
To my spirit doubly dear, 
And doubly beautiful ; arrayed 



512 TO THE ROTH AY. 

In a vivid light and shade 

So strangely palpable, one might 

Deem the old habitual light 

A visionary landscape \vorn 

By the true hills, a mask now torn 

From the jealous face of things 

By the strength of sorrow. Springs 

Of a tender sadness, shy 

Of all outward sympathy, 

Have the truthful gaze renewed, 

And the keenness of the mood, 

Wherewith I, a stranger, first 

In these natural pageants nursed 

Inwardly the dubious strife, 

Whence chance and purpose drew the life 

Of poetry : and from the skies 

And mountains, or my mental eyes, 

Scales seem to fall, and wondrous light 

Dawns, like day, while to my sight 

Are, like a revelation, given 

A sweeter Earth, a plainer Heaven ! 

By this empty bed I mourn, 
Where the stream was wont to turn 
With a blither, louder strain 
Further o'er the rushy plain 
Its tripping waters ; and I hear 
A voice to warn, a voice to cheer, 
Like a double echo, sigh 
Up the channel green and dry. 
Still within this meadow-reach 
Thou hast gentle lore to teach, 
Studious River ! nor art thou 
Mute in thy dishonor now. 



TO THE ROTH AY. 5] 3 

But thou hast a parting word 

Which my soul doth well to hoard, 

As a monitory token 

Of a love so long unbroken, 

A serious earnest of that tie 

Of poetic amity, 

Which hath been twixt thee and me. 

Preach on, sweet Rothay ! whvle I listen, 
And behold thy waters glisten 
"With a sentient purpose filled, 
And the birch-trees banners stilled 
By the slumbrous frost !. I hear 
The spirit of the river near, 
In the sliding shallow singing, 
Hark ! what farewell she is bringing ! 
Sorrow-laden I translate 
Her meek wisdom with a weight 
Of solemn language that is brought 
Rather from my inward thought, 
More abstruse than may beseem 
The lessons of a mountain stream, 
But self-disturbance hath the skill 
To steer the words which way it will. 

" By the love I have for thee, 
Poet ! list awhile to me. 
From the woodlands and the hills, 
And the icy-fettered rills 
Behind their masks of crystal throbbing, 
While the frost is hourly robbing 
All their fountains, from the lakes 
And withered fern among the brakes, 
From thy favorite images 
Of the white snow-laden trees, 
33 



514 TO THE ROTH AY. 

And the summits hoar that seem 
In the -wind to flash and gleam, 
And with silver-dusted snow 
To smoke like beacons, while below 
Upon the unwary shepherd's head 
Arbitrary showers are shed, 
Though the skies are cold and clear, 
And no clouds are hovering near, 
From the yew-trees on the scar 
Oft inflamed by moon or star 
Snared within their dusky plumes, 
Which the radiance half consumes, 
Or transfigures, while the lights 
Climb the heavens on starry nights ; 
From the temple of old fir, 
Where the restless stockdoves stir 
Through the summer midnights, ranging 
Mid the leafless boughs, and changing 
All their perches hour by hour 
In the gently rocking tower, 
Like unquiet sleepers, fraught 
With the poison of sad thought ; 
From the ragged heron isles, 
Where the slanting sunset smiles 
Into the nests, and on the boughs 
The creatures sit in drowsy rows, 
With their plumage doubly bright, 
Slumbering in the golden light, 
From the cataracts, all and each, 
I bring into this meadow-reach 
Farewells for thee ; and be it mine 
To teach thy heart by this grave sign 
Of my dishonor, how to greet 



TO THE ROTHAY. 515 

Those new duties thou must meet 
By far other streams than this, 
In a life of toil-worn bliss, 
Hallowed cares and labors pure, 
And in usefulness obscure 
Shepherding thy little flock 
To the shadow of the Rock 
Of Ages, in the desert set 
As a refuge from the heat, 
And a shelter from the eye 
Of dark spirits prowling nigh. 

" Sweetly wandering from my way, 
Once I paused in many a bay, 
By a leaning oak half spanned, 
Or a drooping wych-elm fanned, 
Or at noonday clouded o'er 
By a nodding sycamore, 
While the sun fell through the eaves 
Of the ever-twinkling leaves. 
Playing through the weedy rents 
Of the underwater tents, 
By cool-rooted alder trees 
Pitched far down, with lattices 
Where light and limpid waters pour 
And weary not hour after hour. 
Then was I beautiful, and then 
Purchased looks of love from men 
And praises from the poets, glad 
When gladness wrought in me,, and sad 
Whensoe'er of frolic weary, 
I, like men, took sanctuary 
In opposites : but now, in awe 
Of man, I swerve from that sweet law 



516 TO THE ROTH AY. 

Of nature, and have thereby lost 
All the charms that were my boast. 
This then be the warning given ; 
While the single eye of Heaven 
Doth the preacher train and school 
With its ever-present rule, 
In his mouth the harshest lore 
Hath a secret winning power, 
Springing oft he knows not whence, 
And transcending barren sense : 
But should he chance before the gaze 
Of man to crouch, or, for the praise 
The world would offer, to divert 
The sacred stream of truth, and hurt 
The pastures cf the little sheep 
He hath been ordained to keep, 
From his preaching will depart 
All that magic of the heart, 
All the store of simple spells 
Whereby faith works her miracles. 
" Yet from this injurious wrong 
Of my poor stream may Christian song 
Cheerful wisdom thus distil ; 
If I do but now fulfil 
Half mine office to the eye 
Of the thoughtless wandering by, 
To the Angel or the Saint 
My disfigured type, though faint, 
Doth a loftier meaning bear, 
Than when men vouchsafed to spare 
All my pastoral wanderings free 
In their first integrity. 
Well it seems to forward youth, 



TO THE ROTHAY. 517 

Thus to carry holy truth 
Here and there, as it may choose 
With wilful virtue, till it lose, 
For every praise of man it gains, 
Skill in truth's celestial strains. 
Good self-sought is barely good, 
And occasion too much wooed 
Is no angel ; but a cheat 
Comes in disguise to counterfeit 
Her presence, and with fatal wiles, 
Self-knighted Avarriors thus beguiles 
To fearful falls ; and what is beauty 
But too oft the foe of duty, 
Veiling this grave truth : Self-will 
Turns our very good to ill ; 
And virtuous purpose most of all 
Needs the bridle and the thrall 
Of adverse circumstance, and place 
Ungenial to our special grace, 
Lest the unthrifty sand be done 
Ere yet the trial Hour is run ? 

" Yon mighty lake's sweet-watered sea, 
Minstrel ! is my eternity ; 
And by duty narrowed now, 
Straight unto that rest I flow, 
Well content for such an end 
The price to pay, full many a bend 
Of tuneful water to forswear 
And sweet delay, one only care 
Being left unto me to prepare 
To mingle with the blessed peace, 
And mingling with it to increase 
Its blessedness, as souls perchance 



518 TO THE EOTHAY. 

The rest of other souls enhance, 

Gently gathered, one by one, 

After each day's battle done. 

So with thee, when duty spoils, 

Wilful grace with Christian toils, 

And confines in narrow bed 

Thy young life, be comforted. 

Though less lovely it may be, 

The road is shorter to the sea. 

If it gives through public strife 

A rougher aspect to thy life, 

Still the end is nearer brought, 

The end for which thy life hath wrought. 

Self only dies ; the gasp of death 

What is it, but the earliest breath 

We draw on that eternal shore, 

Where there is life for evermore ? 

Farewell ! and when far off, O think 
Of spots still left on Rothay's brink 
Unchanged ; where I with gurgling fall 
Am laving still the sunny wall 
Ivy-wimpled, and the breeze 
Scatters from the road-side trees 
Fragrant lime-flowers, and the feet 
Of thy familiars daily meet 
Between the bridges ; thus, when thou 
Look'st o'er meads from Elton's brow, 
Where the fourteen yew-trees bound 
The over-peopled church-yard round, 
Or from off the grassy plot 
Where the dwarfish cedars spot 
The river's brink, and six church towers 
In winter through the leafless bowers 



TO THE ROTHAY. 519 

Look on, and mid the summer green 
To thee are present, though unseen, 
I at summer noons shall bring 
Broken waters there to sing, 
Or beneath the tall boughs shading 
My thin streams be hourly braiding 
My long weedy locks of green, 
In the glossy shallow seen. 
Beauty, too, shall be with thee 
In the silver willow tree, 
In the unbroken dome of sky, 
And mighty plain which can supply 
A bed whereon the sun may die 
In glory, and the pomps of even, 
And the breadths of starry heaven. 
Grassy murmurs, too, shall wander 
WhereXhe Nenna doth meander, 
Freighted oft with such sweet bells, 
Whose music o'er the lowland swells 
To many a farm ; thou shalt not want 
A gentle river side to haunt, 
For Nenna shall thy fancy bless 
With her earthy silentness. 

" Blessed is the will subdued 
Unto its lot, and fortitude 
Which so refits the local ties 
Once broken, and the sympathies 
Dissevered, that they only brighten 
What hath passed away, and lighten 
Sadness of her idle dreams ; 
And the heart more hallowed seems, 
While the years new loves unfold, 
Superseding not the old ; 



520 TO THE EOTHAY. 

For kind feeling hath a truth 
Which outgrows not its first youth, 
Feeding on its native power 
Self-sustained ; the present hour 
Is then most blameless when recast 
In the feelings of the past. 
Thus, while pious hopes and fears 
Fill in the blank thy life appears 
All suddenly to be, and win 
Without disdain a light from sin, 
Caution, scarcely falling short 
Of being a virtue, shall consort 
With thy new habits, and beguile 
Thy spirit with approving smile. 
Or if altered charms be slow 
On thy jealous heart to grow, 
A form on Nenna's bank shall talk 
With thee in many a lonely walk, 
An angel presence that will seem 
Brighter than poetic dream, 
An apparition that outstrips 
The vocal praise of minstrel's lips, 
Even the Spiritual Beauty 
Which is the Shadow cast by Duty." 



THOUGHTS WHILE HEADING HISTORY. 521 

CLXXVIL 
THOUGHTS WHILE. READING HISTORY. 

"Narratione autem historica cum preeterita etiain hominum instituta 
narrantur, non inter huuiaua instituta ipsa historia nuineranda est; quia 
jam quse transierunt, nee infecta fieri possunt, in online temporum babenda 
suut, quorum est conditor et administrator Deus." S. AUGUSTINE. 

1. 

THE PRESENT. 1. 

MAGNIFY not the times in which we live : 
The Present is a double shadow cast, 
Part from the Future, partly from the Past, 
And deeply blended is the light they give. 
The shadow is across our spirits thrown, 
We know not how much further it hath gone. 
The great ennobling Past is only then 
A misty pageant, an unreal thing, 
When it is measured in the narrow ring 
And limit of the Present by weak men. 
The Future is the open trench, the ground 
Whereon our deeds are built, wherein we cast, 
As though we did a reverend temple found, 

The corner-stones to build anothei^Past. 



2. 



THE PRESENT. 2. 

In truth, but his must be a purblind sense, 
To whom the solemn days in which we live 

\ 



522 THOUGHTS WHILE READING HISTORY. 

No room for awe, no scenes of rapture, give, 

Or of historical magnificence. 

Who n for long years have men been so intent 

To march through change unto one steady scope, 

With hearts to dream, and energy of hope 

To force their dreams upon accomplishment ? 

Yet, if there be no other grandeur here, 

Each Present hath a stirring shadow near, 

A magnifying halo o'er it cast, 

The thought that this same strife of good and ill, 

Which we have helped with individual will, 

By time transferred, shall be our children's Past. 

3. 
USE OF THE PAST. 

There is no bent of mind so vile, so weak, 

As that which on the glorious Past doth. set 

In currents of inordinate regret; 

And with a sphere of dreams content, doth wreak 

Itself upon the love of beauty, raw, 

And not by lowly heart and patient thought 

To act or inward disposition wrought, 

Nor made obedient to the manly law 

Of diligent love, whereby men would recast 

For their own times 'the greatness of the Past. 

But he, who to that temple shall intrude 

For purpose less beneficent than this, 

Shall be outlawed unto the barren bliss 

Of lifelong intellectual solitude. 



THOUGHTS WHILE READING HISTORY. 523 

4. 
CHIVALRY. 

They built a bridge, and bade the church supply 

The scaffolding, while they the keystone brought 

Of Honor most elaborately wrought, 

And hailed the new device with jubilant cry. 

Thenceforth could men in meek and quiet ways 

Pass o'er the rudeness of those difficult days. 

Bolder the arch had seemed, but that within 

The Church had left her scaffold undisplaced ; 

And to that age the edifice was graced 

By such memorial of its origin. 

But times came on, to whose fastidious mind 

That framework seemed uncouth ; and to the ground 

Went arch and scaffold : so was Honor found 

Too weak to bear the tread of human-kind. 

5. 

ROMAN INFLUENCES. 
Wading amid a sea of wind-stirred bloom 
Of some bright crimson heath-plant, there I found 
Upon a mountain pass in Noricum, 
Engulfed, one half in verdure, in the ground 
The other, a grey milestone of old Rome. 
Such admonitions in strange sort abound, 
Aliens, mid those romantic forms that stir 
Across the days of that chivalric past, 
Relics whereby Rome's spirit hath recast 
And mastered their original character. 
For her abiding influence yet indents 
The face of things ; her very wrecks fulfil 
An office ; earth wears some expression still 
Of pagan Rome on her mute lineaments. 



524 THOUGHTS WHILE HEADING HISTORY. 

6. 

CHIVALROUS TIMES. 1. 

Beautiful times! times past! when men were not 
The smooth and formal things they are to-day, 
When the world, travelling an uneven way, 
Encountered greater truths in every lot, 
And individual minds had power to force 
An epoch, and divert its vassal course. 
Beautiful times! times past! in whose deep art, 
As in a field by angels furrowed, lay 
The seeds of heavenly beauty, set apart 
For altar-flowers and ritual display. 
Beautiful times ! from whose calm bosom sprung 
Abbeys and chantries, and a very host 
Of quiet places upon every coast, 
Where Christ was served, and blessed Mary sung. 

7. 

CHIVALROUS TIMES. 2. 

Unlovely times ! times past ! when it was thought 
That peer and peasant were of different earth ; 
When it was not believed that God had wrought 
In both one human heart of equal worth, 
One equal heart, which by the Saviour's Birth 
And Passion, at the selfsame price was bought. 
Unlovely times! times past! within whose womb 
Rapine and pride and the unmanly jar 
Of local feuds are ever heard at war, 
Like midnight sounds within a bad man's tomb. 
Unlovely times ! when the sweet summer breeze, 
A merry traveller wending through the land, 
Found no fair farms and lonesome cottages, 
Whose casements he might stir with his soft hand. 



THOUGHTS WHILE HEADING HISTORY. 525 



CHIVALROUS TIMES. 3. 
O ! if ye would not have your spirits shorn 
Of the deep consolations of the past, 
Or drop the links, wherewith ye can make fast 
The Present to the Bygone, think no scorn 
Of those great times whose double aspect seems 
Like the revolving phases of our dreams. 
Could we step back from out this present stir 
Of good and ill, which interpenetrate 
In every land and age the social state, 
How dread would seem its twofold character ! 
So we revere the past, when time hath furled 
The skirts of mist, and to our vision cleared, 
In luminous distinction, all unsphered, 
The adverse circles of the Church and World. 

9. 

BELGIAN TOWNS. 1. 
Was it in many hearts at once, or one 
What was the land, the place, the cause, the hour, 
When it first dawned in men, that there is power 
In Numbers, that the healthy streams which run 
In poor men's veins are red like other blood ? 
O blissful dawn ! the thoughtful and the good 
Do thee glad homage in these antique haunts, 
Where from ten thousand wills a Popular State 
Sprang like an arrow from a bow, elate 
Beneath the pressure of degrading wants. 
Here, in this street of Ghent, where evening smiles, 
The Church and Freedom seem but one great name, 
And surely they so deemed who reared these piles, 
As knowing whence and how their freedom came. 



526 THOUGHTS WHILE KEADIXG HISTORY. 

10. 

BELGIAN TOWNS. 2. 
Hail to the land of sumptuous abbeys, built 
By royal-hearted burghers ! Feudal keeps 
And tourney rings, where highest blood was spilt, 
I pass, yet my unkindled spirit sleeps. 
But all my powers with deepest reverence stir, 
At wrong and suffering, and the trampling down 
Of hill and dale, broad land and merry town, 
Beneath a kingly heel or knightly spur. 
See ! from the fettered people's hungry heart, 
"With tossing heat, and many an uncouth start, 
Indignant patience is inspired to draw, 
As from a holy womb, that wondrous birth, 
That truest regal thing upon the earth, 
The unimpassioned Sovereignty of Law ! 

11. 

BELGIAN TOWNS. 3. 
Law do I worship as a sovereign thipg, 
The rich man's lord, the poor man's vassal, here 
In this dim street, where the town-hall doth fling 
Quaint shadows on the grass-grown pavement near, 
And can the scene around no depths unfold, 
Gable and arch, bay-window, woodwork old ? 
Do not the forms grotesque in silence wait 
Upon the wise man's eye, themselves intent 
To be the symbols of a Popular State, 
Interpreting its fashion, growth, and bent ? 
The streets claim kindred with each other ; skills 
Of diverse trades and ages blend to be 
One lucid type of that strong harmony, 
Engendered of a thousand warring wills. 



THOUGHTS WHILE BEADING HISTORY. 527 

12. 

THE CRUSADES. 

In the long discipline of earth, not least 
We note how Europe, in those ages past, 
The burden of her martial spirit cast, 
With wise exorcism, far into the east ; 
And many a noble kingdom, self-relieved, 
Joyed in new joys, o'er holier sorrows grieved. 
Then localized affections grew unharmed, 
And home was felt, and sympathy, before 
Unknown, ascended to embrace the poor, 
Meek wisdom learned by Europe thus disarmed. 
In this sweet respiration after strife, 
So ruled by Heaven, men's hearts began to draw 
To peace, the blissful order of calm law, 
And hallowing restraints of private life. 

13. 

OUR LADY IN THE MIDDLE AGES. 
I looked upon the earth : it was a floor 
For noisy pageant and rude bravery, 
Wassail, and arms, and chase, among the high, 
And burning hearts uncheered among the poor, 
And gentleness from every land withdrew. 
Methought that beds of whitest lilies grew 
All suddenly upon the earth, in bowers ; 
And gentleness, that wandered like a wind, 
And nowhere could meet sanctuary find, 
Passed like a dewy breath into the flowers. 
Earth heeded not ; she still was tributary 
To kings and knights, and man's heart well-nigh failed ; 
Then were the natural charities exhaled 
Afresh from out the blessed love of Mary. 



528 THOUGHTS WHILE HEADING HISTORY. 

14. 

THE POOR IN THE MIDDLE AGES. 1. 
It is the Past ye worship ; ye do well, 
If the sweet dues of reverence which ye pay 
Be equally disposed, nor lean one way 
For lack of balance in your thoughts. To spell 
The Past in its significance, to ponder, 
In the embrace of judgment, fear and love 
In the disguises of those days, should move 
More than the weak idolatry of wonder, 
Or beauty-stricken eye ; they should grow part 
Of the outgrowings of your daily heart. 
And be not scared by show of kings and knights, 
As if those times were in such gauds embraced ; 
Remember that the people claim a past, 
And that the Poor of Christ have lineal rights. 

1.5. 

THE POOR IN THE MIDDLE AUKS. ~2. 
They, in whose hearts those mighty times have wrought 
Most deeply, have upon their aspect gazed 
As on an eclipse, with their eye upraised 
Through the subduing mean of sombre thought. 
And tlu'n it is a very fearful vision 
To see the uncounted poor, who strayed forlorn 
With wrongs unrighted, and with natures worn 
To heartlessness through every day collision 
With arrogance and wrong. Proud knights, fair dames ; 
And all the pomp of old chivalric names, 
Fade, like a mimic show, from off the past ; 
And to the Christian's eye ungathered flowers 
Of suffering meekly borne, in lowliest bowers, 
With solemn life fill in the populous waste. 



THOUGHTS WHILE READING HISTORY. 529 

16. 

THE PAPACY. 

That such a Power should live and breathe, doth seein 
A thought from which men fain would be relieved, 
A grandeur not to be endured, a dream 
Darkening the soul, though it be unbelieved. 
August conception ! far above king, law, 
Or popular right ; how calmly dost thou draw 
Under thine awful shadow mortal pain, 
And joy not mortal ! Witness of a need 
Deep laid in man, and therefore pierced in vain, 
As though thou wert no form that thou shouldst bleed ! 
While such a power there lives in old man's shape, 
Such and so dread, should not his mighty will 
And supernatural presence, godlike, fill 
The air we breathe, and leave us no escape? 

17. 

PETRARCH AND LUTHER AT ROME. 
Mysterious Rome ! thy very ills are fraught 
With somewhat of thy fearful destiny, 
So that the vision of thy sins hath wrought, 
Even like a curse, within the passer-by. 
Here gazed of old, with no religious eye, 
Petrarch the worldling ; here the apostate monk 
Came ere his fall ; and when they saw how nigh 
Good lay to evil, their base spirits shrunk, 
As from a touch-stone which could bring to light 
Unworthy natures that must walk by sight 
Through lack of trust : and thus are sceptics made, 
By that half-faith which seeks for good unbound 
From ill ; and hearts are daily wanting found, 
Upon the balance of that problem weighed. 

34 



530 THOUGHTS WHILE READING HISTORY. 

18. 
THE HUMILIATION OF HENRY IV. AT CANOSSA. 

It is a thing to be much dwelt upon, 

And mastered in its length and breadth of thought, 

That this strange deed hath verily been wrought 

Before the face of men in times bygone, 

That in one place, and at one solemn hour, 

The passing shadow of eternal power, 

In momentary transit, deeply fell 

On all the pride and pageant of the world 

Within one person for that crisis furled, 

To be eclipsed by things invisible. 

Men brooked the admonition, and they gazed 

Like seers inspired, while in their souls they felt 

That he who stooped was by submission raised 

Near to the height of that to which he knelt. 

It). 

RIENZI AT AVIGNON. 

Throughout the earth there is a kindred dream 
Moored alongside of each reality, 
A greatness, prayed for, and yet ne'er to be, 
Save as the shadow lying by the beam. 
Yet earth is rich in grandeur unfulfilled: 
Thereof comes hope, whereby hot hearts are stilled ; 
And in that dream, as in a waking trance, 
Great spirits walk, and by serenest law 
From shadows unexplored they daily draw 
The strength in which they battle with mischance. 
Rienzi in the papal tower doth lie ; 
His Livy and his Bible near him rest, 
And in those symbols tangibly compressed, 
Were Cola's dream and his reality. 



THOUGHTS WHILE READING HISTORY. 531 

20. 
ORDEALS. 

Faith owns the rude magnificence of thought, 
Wherewith those venturous ages, in the dearth 
Of homage due to law, as umpire brought 
The Hand of Heaven to show the right on earth, 
And so for God's interposition pined, 
That they, in weal or woe, were quick to find 
Foot-prints of marvel. Better to make sure 
Of earth in Heaven, by training love and awe 
To supernatural heights, than so to draw 
Our Heaven within this maze of life obscure. 
Yet oh ! how far beneath both moods are we, 
Who from our place of exile fain would strike, 
As an intrusive Presence we dislike, 
The sweet forebodings of eternity ! 



PRINCE AMADIS 

A BIOGRAPHY. , 



533 



CLXXVIII. 
PRINCE AMADIS. 

A BIOGRAPHY. 
I. 

PRINCE Amadis lay in a flowery brake, 
By the side of Locarno's silver lake : 
It seems a very long while ago, 
Or else it may be that time goes slow. 

ii. 

Those were the days when the world of spirit 
Filled the old earth to the brim, or near it ; 
And marvels were wrought by wizard elves, 
Which happen but rarely among ourselves. 

in. 

The heart of Prince Amadis did not pant 
With an indwelling love, or blameless want 
Of chivalrous friendship, or thirst of power ; 
His youth was enough for its own bright hour. 

IV. 

He floated o'er life like a noon-tide breeze, 

Or cradled vapor on sunny seas, 

Or an exquisite cloud, in light arrayed, 

Which sails through the sky and can throw no shade. 

v. 

Wishes he had, but no hopes and no fears ; 

He smiled, but his smiles were not gendered of tears : 

Like a beautiful mute he played his part, 

Too happy by far in his own young heart ! 

535 



536 PRINCE AMADIS. 

VI. 

His twentieth summer was well nigh past, 
Each was more golden and gay than the last ; 
The glory of earth, which to others grows dim, 
Through his unclouded years glittered fresher to him. 

VII. 

And oh how he loved ! From the hour of his birth, 
He was gentle to all the bright insects of earth ; 
He sate by the green gilded lizards for hours, 
And laughed, for pure love, at the shoals of pied flowers. 

VIII. 

As he walked through the woods in the cool of the day, 
He stooped to each blossom that grew by the way ; 
He tapped at the rind of the old cedar trees, 
When its weak breath had sweetened the evening breeze. 

IX. 

He knew all the huge oaks, the wide forest's gems, 
By their lightning-cleft branches or sisterly stems ; 
He knew the crowned pines where the starlight is best, 
And the likeliest banks where the moon would rest. 

x. 

He studied with joy the old mossy walls, 

And probed with his finger their cavernous halls, 

Where the wren builds her nest, and the lady-bird 

slumbers, 
While winter his short months of icy wind numbers. 

XI. 

All things were holy and dear to his mind, 
All things, except the hot heart of his kind, 
And that seemed a flower in a withered hood, 
Which the cold spring cankered within the bud. 



PRINCE AMADIS. 537 

XII. 

The wrongs of the peasant, the woes of the peer, 
Ne'er wrung from the prince a true sigh or a tear ; 
The strife of his fellows seemed heartlessly bright, 
Like the laurels in winter in cold moonlight. 

XIII. 

He cared for no sympathy, living in throngs 

Of his own sunny thoughts, and his mute inward songs ; 

And if in the sunset his spirit was weary, 

Sleep was hard by him, young health's sanctuary. 

XIV. 

'Twould not have been so had he e'er known his mother, 
Or had had, save the green earth, a playmate and brother ; 
For deep in his heart a most wonderful power 
Of loving lay hid, like an unopened flower. 

xv. 

Ah ! luckless it is when a spirit is haunted 
By all kindly powers, but attractions are wanted, 
Life's outward attractions, by calm, pensive law, 
Love, sorrow, and pity, from shy hearts to draw ! 

XVI. 

Yet mid all the natural forms of delight, 
Whose footfalls stole round him by day or by night, 
He was pure as the white.lily's dew-beaded cup, 
Which, bold because stainless, to heaven looks up. 

XVII. 

His mind was a fair desert temple of beauty, 

Unshaded by sorrow, unhallowed by duty ; 

A dream in a garden, a midsummer bliss 

Was the youth, the bright youth, of Prince Amadis. 



538 PRINCE AMADIS. 

XVIII. 

Prince Amadis lay iu the chestnut shade 

Where the flickering light through the green leaves 

played, 

And the summer lake, with its blue heart throbbing, 
Chafed the white sand with a reedy sobbing. 

XIX. 

He saw not the hills through his half-closed eye, 
But their presence was felt like a spirit nigh ; 
To the spell of the noon-tide he gave himself up, 
And his heart overflowed like wine in a cup. 

xx. 

He smiled at the silence that stole o'er the day, 
While the singing birds slumbered upon the spray, 
Till moss-scented airs o'er the green sward did creep, 
And tremulous mallow-leaves fanned him asleep. 

XXI. 

And dreams whispered to him, the tongues of sweet 

flowers, 

Striking the chimes of the uncounted hours ; 
And, as though he were sinless, the wood-haunting 

creatures 
Bent o'er the sleeper with love in their features. 

XXII. 

Sleeping or waking, his vision was one, 
That the knots of the world might by him be undone, 
That the Natures below and the Spirits above 
Might with man be confused in one Eden of love. 



PRINCE AMADIS. 539 

XXIII. 

Beautiful dreamer ! how far hadst thou strayed 
From the love at thy doors by the pensive earth laid, 
And the household chains of our true love rent, 
Which were forged for the soul's enfranchisement ! 

XXIV. 

The day drifted out, like the ebb of the ocean, 
From the havens of earth with a quiet motion ; 
And a cool flapping breeze grew out of the air, 
Which the mallow-leaves fanned to the sleeper there. 

XXV. 

Prince Amadis rose from the flowery brake, 
While, imaged serenely down in the lake, 
The roseate sky, with gold bars freaked, 
By a flight of wild swans was duskily streaked. 

XXVI. 

In a stiff-bending line through the rich sunset 
They wavered like cloud-spots of glossy j et, 
And with rude piping they marshalled their rear 
In a phalanx above the tranquil mere. 

XXVII. 

There for one moment their huge wings they shake, 
Then in wide spiral circuits drop down to the lake ; 
The dark water gurgles, thus suddenly cloven, 
In wakes of white bubbles interwoven. 

XXVIII. 

Are there deep instincts that lurk below 
In those dipping breasts of driven snow ? 
Or why do they steer their conscious way 
To the Prince in the mallow-curtained bay ? 



540 PRINCE AMADLS. 

XXIX. 

A pale-feathered cygnet was with them, and he 
Swam centre of all the company, 
And round him they anchored in that calm pool, 
A vision solemn and beautiful. 

XXX. 

He wore on his head a black diadem, 
Looped to a clasp of orange gem ; 
His plumage gleamed in the dusk star-bright, 
Of purple but faintly muffled with white. 

XXXI. 

There needed no voices : Prince Amadis read 
A dream in that show interpreted ; 
He strode the fair cygnet, and rose from the ground 
With those wild white swans on a voyage bound. 

XXXII. 

Young Prince ! they will search for thee all through 
the night, 

And the lake and the bush will gleam wan with torch- 
light ; 

And there will be weeping and wailing then, 

If monarchs have hearts like other men. 

XXXIII. 

But away and away in the midnight blue 
That fleet of white creatures went steering through ; 
And away and away through the sweet day-break, 
From the white Alps flashed, their road they take : 



PRINCE AMADIS. 541 

XXXIV. 

Through the tingling noon and the evening vapor, 
Which Hesper lights with his little taper, 
Through the tremulous smiles of moonlight mirth, 
And the balmy descents of dew to the earth, 

XXXV. 

Through the calms, through the winds, when the hail- 
stones ring, 

The convoy passed with untiring wing, 
And oft from their course for hours they drove, 
As though they winnowed the air for love. 

xxxvi. 

And now they would mount and now they would stoop, 
And almost to earth or river droop, 
And harshly would pipe through the sheer delight 
Of their boisterous wings, and their strength of flight. 

XXXVII. 

They saw the young Save in the next night's moon, 
They were over Belgrade by the afternoon, 
And ere the sun set their journey was o'er 
On a willow-isle by the Danube's shore. 

XXXVIII. 

They left the young Prince, (for their mission was done,) 
There on the green willow-island alone ; 
And, in their hoarse language they bade him farewell, 
And swept o'er the sun-bleached Bulgarian fell. 

XXXIX. 

More and more sadly as daylight died, 
The breeze-troubled marsh-plants sobbed and sighed, 
And the pulse of the river with panting sound 
Beat in the swamps and the hollows round. 



542 PRINCE AMADIS. 

XL. 

But the stream travelled on like a pilgrim weary 
In search of his eastern sanctuary, 
Through the heart of old Europe guiding his floods 
From beneath the green boughs of the Freybourg woods. 

XLI. 

The lone swampy island lay down in the river, 
Whose strong nervous waves made the ground and trees 

quiver ; 

It swung with its head up the stream, anchored lightly 
By the tree roots and marsh-plants that just held it 

tightly. 

XLII. 

It trembles for ever as the ruffled stream rushes, 
And the mud-bubbles splutter and quake in the bushes ; 
Nay, it seemed in the twilight to float by the marge, 
Uneasily slow, like a half-sunken barge. 

XLIII. 

He looked to the shore, faded herbage, wild swamp, 
One ruined old mosque, all begreened with the damp ; 
The willows leaned over in half-fallen ranks, 
And the cold river gurgled under the banks. 

XLIV. 

The moon could scarce rise, and she rose all of blood, 
And with lurid reflection bedabbled the flood ; 
*Aud the night-wind fled frightenedly past with a wail, 
Ais if some deed of murder had freighted the gale. 



PRINCE AMADIS. 543 

XLV. 

Then when the wind had passed on out of hearing, 
Came an audible hush, as if spirits were nearing 
The lone willow-island, and made the Prince shiver, 
And long to seek rest in that black rushing river. 

XLVI. 

Then straightway wild music played over the scene, 
The moon became white, and the earth moonlit green, 
And the breaths from the mosses like incense rose up, 
And each still open flower caught the dew in its cup. 

XLVII. 

What is it ? the features of earth seem uncommon ; 
His heart glows with thoughts that are wilder than 

human ; 

And surely that music, those waves of bright light, 
Are more than the charm of a beautiful night. 

XLVIII. 

He felt the strange wail of the music dissolving 
The life that was in him, and new life evolving ; 
His innermost being turned fluent, and fled, 
As if magnets were drawing it out of its bed. 

XLIX. 

He saw it go forth in thin streams of gray light, 
Which was greedily drunk by the darkness of night ; 
For a moment he seemed to flow out upon nature, 
Without personality, substance, or feature. 

L. 

Then back came his life like a tide-wave sublime ; 
It had circled the world in that moment of time. 
But what was it like ? Was it matter, or spirit ? 
Should he welcome it, love it? or shun it, and fear it? 



544 PRINCE AMADIS. 

LI. 

He felt all at once viewless arms were around him ; 
Flesh and blood had no sinews like those that now 

bound him ; 

He felt hands within him, then all things gave way, 
His soul lay down and fluttered in extatic dismay. 

LIT. 
His heart turned to stone ; a strange panic had chilled 

him; 

His old life died out, as this new terror filled him ; 
He felt as if through some ordeal he was winning 
His way to some grand but terrific beginning. 

LIU. 

He was colder than ice, with an inward cold pain, 
And his blood left his heart, and encircled his brain ; 
Man's life was unmade in him, crossed by new sections, 
With mind for a centre instead of affections. 

LIV. 

We are plants, we are beasts, we are metals, and earth, 
And the life of the stars too went in us at birth ; 
We are all things in one thing, life's manifold flame 
Chaos gave us, when out of its bosom we came. 

LV. 

So now in Prince Amadis, down in his being, 
The plant to the plant-life was evermore fleeing, 
The beasts to the beast-life ; star, metal, and gem 
Paired off with the inner life suited to them. 

LVI. 

And now they flowed into him, now they flowed out, 
And mingled and circled and wavered about ; 
One life now repelled, now invited another, 
But the pulses that beat in them answered each other. 



PRINCE AMADIS. 545 

LVH. 

New unity too did his nature discover ; 

He had but one sense, he was eye-sight all over : 

He sa\v tastes, he saw touches, strange mortal was he ! 

He saw sountls, he saw scents, he did nothing but see ! 

LVIII. 

He had sympathies too, but not after man's fashion ; 
He loved, but his love was a cold shiny passion : 
Father-love, sister-love, all were effaced, 
And all his old home-idols rudely displaced. 

LIX. 

In spite of himself his whole being must hasten 
Its affections on wholly new objects to fasten ; 
He must speak a new language which nature will teach, 
But a many-tongued silentness now must be speech. 

LX. 

Darkness was to him what sorrow had been, 
And light was his joy, with its smiles of white she-en ; 
And color was pathos, and sympathy flowers, 
And his homes were unnumbered, all beautiful bowers. 

LXI. 

Alas ! I much fear that poetic desire 
Had grown in his heart, like a cosmical fire ; 
He had burned for a change, and had found the change 

there. 
And a dream had been answered as if it were prayer ! 

LXII. 

From the deeps of the Danube there rose right before 

him 

A glorious spirit, with a light-halo o'er him, 
Whose heart was transparent, yet visibly heaving, 
With the light shining through, and yet real and living. 

35 



546 PRINCE AMADIS. 

LXIII. 

'Twas the essence of beauty, the spirit of earth, 
The Kosmos, that lurked in the marvellous birth 
Of the outlying universe, orbs without number, 
Nothingness waked from its unmeaning shJmber. 

LXIV. 

who shall define this strange life of the world, 
That for ever unfurls all the things that are furled, 
A power unfatigued, and a life ever vernal, 
Immaterial matter, and almost eternal. 

LXV. 

Like angel he seemed, with a look on his features 
Of a human sort, dashed with the lowlier creatures, 
And he seemed at each winnow to shake from his wings 
The splendor of all terrestrial things. 

LXVI. 

He spoke, what a voice of most musical sweetness, 
Like streams in their flowing, like winds in their fleet- 
ness ! 

It was wildest enchantment, incredible bliss 
To the listening heart of the Prince Amadis. 

LXVII. 

Art thou weary, he cried, of that intricate strife, 
Which for lack of a better sad mortals call life ; 
Then change places with me, and deep shalt thou drink 
Of the fountain that springs on eternity's brink. 

LXVIII. 

1 will give thee my powers ; thou wilt need to be brave ; 
My far-reaching subtlety too thou shalt have ; 

My science infused in thy spirit shall be ; 

Thou shall beat as the world-soul awhile, 'stead of me. 



PRINCE AMADIS. 547 

KXIX. 

Thy mind shall be filled with all sweet shapes and shows ; 
Mute creation shall watch o'er thine equal repose ; 
And unmoral beauty shall be to thy soul 
An incessant delight while the weary worlds roll. 

LXX. 

Beauty shall feed thee at heaven's own portals, 
With an exquisite influx unknown to poor mortals; 
Thou shalt drink of the sunstrearn of light as it flows, 
And the sight of fair things be thy spirit's repose. 

LXXI. 

Art thou weary of wills, of hearts sinful and rude, 
Of earth's dark and bright mixtures, and curses that 

brood 

O'er a whole stricken race, and the service they need, 
Where the eyes ever weep, and the hearts ever bleed ? 

LXXII. 

Art thou sick of distractions from self, and would fain 
Let thy soul walk at large in a world without pain, 
Where law, not caprice, shall direct every force, 
And the absence of sin make you free of remorse ? 

LXXIII. 

Lo ! I am the Kosmos ! such beauty is mine, 
Where all things in truth and in harmony shine, 
Where no word of command, since the first one, is 

spoken, 
Where no work is unmeaning, no decree ever broken. 

LXXIV. 

Where the swerving of systems is the rising and falling 
Of unmeasured epochs to each other calling, 
Where change and variety blend without flaw, 
And calm and catastrophe are but one law. 



548 PEINCE AMADIS. 

LXXV. 

But if this grand life is to go into thee, 
Impassible, passionless, cold must thou be ; 
A single stray tenderness quick would dispel 
The new life thou hast on, and which fits thee so well. 

LXXVI. 

I cannot put from thee thy flesh-and-blood heart ; 
I have set it alone in a corner apart ; 
Only see that earth's pity wake it not up again, 
If thou sheddest one tear, my gift is all vain. 

LXXVII. 

Magnificence cannot be meek in a creature : 
Tis a stretch that would wear out and break up his 

nature ; 

To be high, high above all our kind we must dwell ; 
He who longs to be grand must be cruel as well. 

Lxxvnr. 

He spoke, and there came on the earth sirch a hush ! 
He threw off from himself a scarce visible flush 
Of the rosiest light, that passed into the heart 
Of the wondering Prince, with an exquisite smart. 

LXXIX. 

For a moment a mist-shadow seemed just to hover 
The low stars looked through it the moonlit stream 

over, 

Then Kosmos unsouled, earth's king dispossessed, 
Laid down in the bed of the Danube to rest. 

LXXX. 

The stars ceased to twinkle, the moon shed no beam, 
There came a strange murmur all over the stream ; 
Earth felt just the slightest vibration, then tore 
Right away through cold space unconcerned as before. 



PRINCE AMADIS. 549 

LXXXI. 

For a moment the Prince in astonishment mused, 
Till he felt his whole being without effort diffused 
Thro' the unsurveyed universe, and his new wings 
Seemed to drop life forever into the nature of things. 

LXXXII. 

Then away, and away, and away, from the haunts 
Of poor moping man, and his numberless wants, 
Away o'er the regions of beauty that lie 
Beneath and beyond the wide dome of the sky ! 

LXXXIII. 
Sense of the power was the very first thought that 

possessed him, 

And infinite space, he expected would rest him ; 
So he darted aloft on the wings of the night, 
And in secret the soundless air closed on his flight. 

LXXXIV. 

O grand was the hush of sidereal space, 
Mid the huge orbs that looked at him full in the face ; 
There his mind worked in greatness, unlimited then 
By the shrill interruptions of frivolous men. 

LXXXV. 

Majestic he traversed our own Milky Way, 
Tracked each winding current, and sounded each bay; 
Its collections of worlds are the neighbors, next door 
To the planet that lies on Sol's furthermost shore. 

LXXXVI. 

He was lonely as poet could e'er wish to be, 
From all outward entanglement blessedly free 
As second-rate greatness could covet, whose charm 
Is in license that startles, and power to do harm. 



550 PRINCE AMADIS. 

LXXXVII. 

He was where the wistfullest vacancy broods 
O'er the great empty stars and their bright solitudes, 
Where space, running over, petitioned for bounds, 
And silence itself almost ached for sweet sounds. 

LXXXVIII. 

Yet the Milky Way world is our own, and his home 
Was not far enough off; he must still further roam ; 
For the sense of magnificence o'er his soul stealing 
Was narrowed, he felt, by some patriot feeling. 

LXXXIX. 

Yes! the Milky Way world is but one step in space; 
It is but as France is to England, a place 
Scarcely foreign when seen o'er the sun-misty strait, 
With the wild German ocean crowding in at the gate. 

xc. 

The worlds where poor man hath got nothing to do/ 
There are plenty of such in the neighboring blue! 
Will not meet what he wants ; oh no ! he must be 
In a world which no telescopes even can see. 

xci. 

There are plenty of such, ere we come to the end 
Where the actual things with the possible blend, 
Other oceans of blue, a conceivable place ; 
But it burdens my heart to imagine such space ! 

xcn. 

Art thou sure, gentle Prince! there is no sorrow there. 

No laws helping laws, no, angelical care? 

Art thou sure that obedience and duty intrude 

Not at all in that viewless and far solitude ? 



PRINCE AMADIS. 551 

XCIII. 

For the lonely have duties, thyself mid the rest ; 
Like a wounded bird bleeding, the heart in thy breast 
Sheds remorse on the air, and unkings thee when highest, 
While duties undone mark the track where thou fliest. 

xciv. 

Then away, in thy striving to get clear of strife ! 
There is nought youth loves more than an unwitnessed 

life. 

Thou art gone, out of sight amid nameless worlds fleeing, 
With the earth-string of conscience at work in thy being. 

xcv. 

When he came to the edge of the Milky Way world 
Tracts of space lay before him in silence unfurled ; 
But he winged his way o'er the blue gulfs without check 
To worlds far beyond, from which .this looked a speck. 

xcvi. 

All the systems of suns that we see in the night 
Dwindled down to a point, and then vanished from sight ; 
Then came fresh sets of worlds, and more inlets of space, 
Old types disappearing, new forms in their place. 

xcvu. 

They rose up to view, like the tall masts of ships 
Out at sea, when the sky-line of dark ocean dips ; 
Worlds round him, above, and beneath him, were seen, 
Like woods in a mist with abysses between. 

xcvin. 

Huge nebular regions, oases of light 
Strewed thickly or thinly the void infinite ; 
Each of which in itself countless worlds can compress, 
As thick as the sands of the wide wilderness ; 



552 PRINCE AMADIS. 

XCIX. 

Long islands of worlds, far apart in the blue, 
Xow so near that a bridge of great suns joins the two : 
Now an isthmus of orbs, now a wide continent 
Where the numberless worlds in a bright patch are 

blent : 

c. 
Worlds made, worlds preparing, worlds then and there 

making, 

And inchoate spirals their white tresses shaking, 
Worlds liquid, worlds solid, worlds vapor all over, 
Worlds with or without atmospherical cover. 

ci. 

He went, horror hushing the songs in his mouth, 
To that drear restless universe down in the south, 
And he trembled to see reeling Argus so flicker, 
Like a torch as we wave it, now slower, now quicker. 

cu. 

He had favorite tracks out in space where he toured, 
And, from old childish longings, he deftly explored 
Those dark mottled patches, once scorned as delusion, 
Molten light, molten darkness, in orderly fusion. 

cm. 

Creation, so deemed he, was scarcely begun, 

A grandeur in childhood, a race yet to run, 

A hymn that this moment through new space has rung, 

The first strophe of which has yet scarcely been sung. 

civ. 

He saw rings part from centres in flaming projection, 
Worlds weltering wildly towards their perfection, 
Where the work that was done appeared more like un- 
doing, 
Contraction, explosion, dark deluge, and ruin. 



PRINCE AMADIS. 553 



He met rays of light falling earthward, like tears, 
That had been on their travels thirty millions of years, 
Cleaving like lightning the thin purple gloom, 
Yet would hardly reach earth until after the Doom. 

cvi. 

What is distance but nature's best poem, that sings 
As it lengthens its flight, throwing off from its wings 
The most magical softness, which veils and discloses, 
Bringing out, filling up, wheresoe'er it reposes. 

cvn. 

It is distance which robes far and near with their tints, 
Excites by concealing, and heightens by hints, 
On earth blends green forests and indigo mountains, 
And above presses star-worlds to single light-fountains. 

CVIII. 

His home was the poet's home, space, and beyond, 
All the worlds knit in one world, with thought for a 

bond, 

Strong musical thought to repel and to draw, 
With metre for ether, and song for a law. 

cix. 

For his thoughts peopled space, or at times drew it in 
To itself, making all things its kith and its kin ; 
The bleakest of nebulas grive him as much 
Of a home as the lake which the alp-shadows touch. 

ex. 

He was not more at home, where his own Lombard sky 
Looks down through the chestnuts, than when he 

might lie 

On forlorn wisps of stars that with pendulous motion 
Writhe about over space, like the wrecks on the ocean. 



554 PKINC'E AMADIS. 

CXI. 

When his boat on Locarno scarce heaved in the calm, 
Things around him were clothed not in more homely 

charm, 

Than the gulfs where gaunt systems in awful embrace 
Put forth arms made of worlds, like huge feelers, in 

space. 

CXII. 

The universe taught him that space was less vast 
Than the world of his soul, which all time will outlast ; 
And mind, more colossal than matter, can come 
In the world of Orion to be straitened for room. 

CXIII. 

What hope for the future, he thought, when he saw 

Orbs condense and compress themselves, plainly by 
law, 

Worlds by millions slow gathering in dread concentra- 
tion, 

To some marvellous oneness of undreamed creation ! 

cxiv. 

He watched giant systems break up and re-form, 
Like nations renewed by a popular storm : 
It was fearful to see how they cracked, swang asunder, 
And closed up in new systems of order and wonder. 

cxv. 

He beheld with glad terror our own Milky Way 
At its north and south poles self-unrivet, out-sway, 
And some world-groups heave anchor, like icebergs 

sublime, 
Thawed out in the lapse of unwriteable time. 



PRINCE AMADIS. 555 

CXVI. 

So the Clouds of Magellan drifted off and dipped down 
Towards earth, as a cloud settles over a town, 
Mighty realms of white worlds, their soft tremulous 

shining 
With the sunsets of earth most fraternally twining. 

CXVII. 

All is change and advance, not a cyclical-race ; 

Love only survives wrecks of Time, Force, and Space ; 

Love only shall see out of all revolution 

How creation shall perfect its grand constitution. 

cxvin. 

All around us is Home : the heart owns no Abroad 
In the lap of this beautiful Free Act of God ; 
His Love is the instinct that pilots its Course, 
And His sweet Will its true Imperceptible Force. 

cxix. 

O how his heart grew with the largeness of things ! 
His sights were all thoughts, and his thoughts were all 

wings: 

Yet one look of love from his sister were bliss 
More eternal, more infinite surely than this. 

cxx. 

Then went he, and stood in the face of the sun, 
At the end of the race which that orb has to run, 
An invisible goal in ethereal seas, 
Which lies to the north of the bright Hercules. 

CXXI. 

But ah! when the sun that far home hath attained, 
We may hope that our souls better homes will have 

gained, 

Fairer heavens above, where earth's troubles will cease, 
But not without winning us glory and peace. 



556 PRINCE AMADIS. 

cxxn. 

The Prince goes oil hunting for beauty, nor dreams 
That the beauty of earth is above what it seems, 
That the heart is the trial of what we are worth, 
And the best of all heavens is made out of earth ! 

CXXIII. 

He watched the swift moon, when her shadow first nips 
The bright edge of the sun in a total eclipse ; 
And he flew to those'strange rosy thumbs that protrude 
From the moon-darkened rim, when the light is subdued. 

cxxiv. 

He went near the sun to see comets unbind 
Their long lucent ringlets now flowing behind, 
And saw the scared things, as they looked in the glass, 
Ruffle back their light tresses the moment they pass. 

cxxv. 
Near the grand double stars he would watch with 

delight 

The beautiful quarrel between day and night, 
Blue sunset, red sunrise, both striving together, 
Weird landscapes, weird foliage, and the weirdest of 

weather. 

cxxvi. 

He loved to see planets in sweet occupation 
Pass under the moon, while the double vibration, 
Like an echo of light, makes the planet start back, 
As if frightened to let the moon ride o'er its track. 

cxxvu. 

He watched Jupiter's moon jumping back in alarm, 
Keeping step with its mother, who put forth her arm, 
And drew the young child with herself into night, 
Herself more to blame than the poor satellite ! 



PRINCE AMADIS. 557 

CXXVIII. 

Then right in the flames of the sun would he go, 
Where an unconsumed planet lies dazzling and low, 
Deeper down in the sunshine than Hermes, all drowned 
To mortal research in the light-floods around. 

cxxix. 

He trod the outskirts of the last solar seas, 
AVhere the cold is not measured by human degrees, 
Where the orbs seem uncertain on what line to venture, 
Lest the sun might not prove their legitimate centre, 

cxxx. 

Far out in the dreary cold, far, far away, 
Beyond Neptune, where outlying planets obey, 
Reluctant and sluggish, the suck of the sun, 
But who drag in their orbits rather than run. 

cxxxr. 

Then for change would he seek the least jewels of night, 
The gardens of crystal that swing into sight 
Every year, 'twixt the lines on which Jupiter rolls, 
And Mars Avith the white cap of snow on his poles. 

cxxxn. 

He saw little earth hold its atmosphere down, 
While space-matter strove the poor orb to uncrown; 
Outside its crisp top he hung poised in the sky 
To see with what fleetness the planet flew by. 

CXXXIII. 

In all the wide worlds, great and little, he saw, 
With sweet re-assurance one beautiful law, 
That each world to itself its own centre should seem, 
An honest untruth, a self-realized dream. 



558 PRINCE AMADIS. 

CXXXIV. 

He saw that the people's large language was better 
Than the phrases of science, and for common use meeter ; 
For thus all the orbs, through the vastness that roam, 
Feel themselves in each nook of creation at home. 

cxxxv. 

For what is each heart, wheresoe'er it may live, 
But the centre of all the love God has to give, 
As dear to its Father, whatever its station, 
As if it by itself were the whole of creation ? 

CXXXVI. 

O Prince ! hast thou not in thy heart some misgiving 
Of the centreless life that thy selfwill is living ? 
For where self is the centre, all life is abroad, 
Unrooted in home, and unfastened to God. 

cxxx'vii. 

O good for the soul is the merciful strain 

Of a grave obligation ; still better the pain 

Of repentance, whose tears are professions of faith 

In the God who forgives, in the life after death. 

CXXXVIII. 

Then wander no longer, thou sunshiny cloud ! 
With thy shadow just dappling the fields on thy road; 
Weep away to the earth in soft rain, and the shower 
Shall at least make one green spot more green than before. 

cxxxix. 

Life that lives for itself in an unrooted youth 
Must one day do penance for all its untruth, 
Must revenge on itself what it slighted before, 
In old age cast away on a desolate shore. 



PRINCE AMADIS. 559 

CXL. 

There are plants in the woods of Brazil, parasites, 
Who give out their fragrances only at nights, 
Fresh rooted each moment in wandering airs, 
Which are solid enough for such thin roots as theirs. 

CXLI. 

Even such is thy round in this beautiful ring, 
An air-rooted, windshaken, unlife-like thing, 
Perfuming for no one night's untrodden bowers, 
With no holier pain than a headache of flowers. 

CXLII. 

When could others awaken fond youth from a dream ? 
It must wake of itself: for it flows like a stream, 
It is gone while we speak, its swift currents unbinding; 
Its home is in seeking, its exile in finding ! 

CXLIII. 

In love have we spoken, for this Prince is our brother ; 
But one beailty reminds him far off of another, 
And, ere we had time our advice to rehearse, 
Twice or thrice has he gone round the whole universe. 

CXLIV. 

O see how he wheels up aloft in the air ! 
Heavy wisdom from earth cannot reach to him there ; 
Now he drops, but it is in the thick of yon wood, 
Where precipitous rocks overhang the dark flood. 

CXLV. 

There again ! he has left us in lightning-like flight, 
And is hidden far up in the whiteness of light, 
Whence faint sparkles fall like a rocket-shower breaking, 
Where from pinions unseen the soft motes he is shaking. 



560 PRINCE AMADIS. 

CXLVI. 

Then down the blue waters of islandless ocean 
He dives, like the gale, with exulting emotion, 
Now passively floats as the frolic wind blows him, 
Now tunnels the crests of cold brine that oppose him. 

CXLVII. 

When he teases the earth in his low-drooping flight 
It is not home draws him, he will not alight ; 
He but skims, like a swallow, in swift mazy rings, 
And feeds, like the bird, on invisible things. 

CXLVIII. 

When lie hovers o'er earth it is only to sing, 
Beating time for himself with his vibrating wing ; 
While the hot spell is on him perforce must he roam, 
For an uneasy heart is most homeless at home. 

CXLIX. 

He has thoughts, so he thinks, above all thoughts of ours, 
Inconceivable echoes from heavenly bowers ; 
He has words, so he says, which we always mistake, 
And a silence of song which we rude mortals break. 

CL. 

Ah ! little he deems how much deeper a thing 
Is the action of life, a more bountiful spring 
Of beauty, of wonder, of truth, and of power, 
A joy more long-lived, a more heavenly dower. 

CLI. 

Tears shed for others are waters that rise 
To their levels above in the grace-giving skies : 
Time wasted for others is paid back at last, 
Counted out in eternities, future and past. 



PKINCE AMADIS. 561 

CLII. 

Though thy life may be fretful and swift, yet delay 
To soothe the least sorrow that comes in thy way ; 
For sympathy, happily choosing its times, 
Cheers the long nights of grief with its beautiful chimes. 

CLIII. 

More tall than the stars is the wonderful height 
Of unselfishness, always reposing in light, 
On whose glorious summits the night falleth never, 
But the seen Face of God is its sunrise for ever. 

CLIV. 

How great is the gift to have sisters and brothers ! 
They only who lose them can estimate mothers ! 
For to hearts, where the world would fain fling its first 

spell, 
A home can be almost religion as well. 

CLV. 

Souls only sell dear in the markets of heaven, 
And on earth for hearts only high prices are given ; 
Men who love while they suffer, and work while they 

grieve, 
Heaven and earth in their one web of life interweaves. 

CLVI. 

They only who love, and love meekly, are blest ; 
And true love is nothing but self dispossessed ; 
They only who labor at last win the prize ; 
They only who sorrow can ever be wise. 

CLVII. 

All these beauties are toys to thee, Prince Amadis! 
Thy chase is not life ; it was ne'er meant for this. 
A schoolboy at play will outweigh thy worth soon, 
If he gives and takes kindly one whole afternoon. 
36 



562 PRINCE AMADIS. 

CLVIII. 

Hast thou got any purse in the which thou canst treasure 
The fine glowing sunsets tlAxt give thee such pleasure ? 
Do the angels in heaven hoard the scents of the flowers, 
Or photograph all the fair lights of the hours ? 

CLIX. 

The secrets of children, who whisper and chatter, 
Are worth half a score of the secrets of matter, 
Unless they can make us still more the world's master, 
To sail our ships safer, or go our way faster. 

CLX. 

If too much is made of them, earth, sun, and moon 
Are but sights at a theatre, songs out of tune ; 
And the round stars are only like hoops up on high, 
Which child-poets trundle through infinite sky. 

CLXI. 

O man is the beauty, and hearts are the glory 

Of all the world's science and all the world's story ; 

And sorrow is softness, a heavenly birth, 

To prevent our becoming as hard as the earth. 

CLXII. 

These far worlds astonish the mind out of breath, 
So vastly outstretched in magnificent death ; 
But grandeur wants something more changeful to rest it ; 
It aches when one vision a long while hath pressed it. 

CLXIII. 

Homely earth, solar system, Milky Way all around us 
Worlds beyond the horizon with which weak science 

bounds us, 

In and out of all these will he fitfully wander, 
In his speed blending strangely the Here and the Yonder. 



PRINCE AMADIS. 563 

CLXIV. 

Of all changing things far the loveliest is life, 
And with that, of all places, the earth is most rife ; 
For awhile then at least will the Prince now descend, 
And exhaust all the beauty of earth to its end. 

CLXV. 

But earth is so beautiful, he who is greedy 
May take all he wants, and leave more to the needy ; 
For its lights and its shadows are fair to excess, 
But its fairness is least of its happiness ! 

CLXVI. 

Where the red Aurora wavily quivers, 
He saw winter arrest the Siberian rivers, 
And the glaciers bear on their patient backs 
Huge boulders, and move in their slow stiff tracks 

CLXVII. 

He saw open sea round the silent pole, 
Neath the arctic moon watched the waters roll, 
Felt the earth nod with a rocking motion, 
Like a ship at anchor on the ocean. 

CLXVIII. 

From the leaning top of the world's north tower 
He gazed entranced for many an hour, 
Looked out into space, and wished there were bars 
To hinder his leaping among the stars. 

CLXIX. 

Then he went over lakes that so deeply lie 

The sun has to drink their waters dry, 

Where the rivers of central Asia flow, 

By the steppes which the salt-rime powders with snow. 



564 PRINCE AMADIS. 

/ 
CLXX. 

He dwelt with delight for many a day 
Mid the fabulous trees of the Himalay, 
Where earth comes nearest to heaven, more near 
Than the Andes come with their burning spear. 

CLXXI. 

The bountiful life of the jungles was his, 
Its grand vegetation, its animal bliss ; 
The day-life, the night-life of forests he knew, 
And the monster-life of the waters blue. 

CLXXII. 

He floated down Chinese rivers that lie 
Above the champaign threateningly ; 
He slumbered mid opiate spices in bays 
Near the pirate barks of the vile Malays. 

CLXXIII. 

O sweet were the trees ! O wild was the scene, 
In the centre of Africa peopled and green, 
With beautiful rivers that shun the sea, 
And die in the sands without agony. 

CLXXIV. 

The heart of Australia was known to him, 
And the Southern Pole with its coast-line dim, 
With its tall volcanoes that ruddily glare, 
Over deserts of snow in the silent air, 

CLXXV. 

Where the icebergs flash and grow dark again, 
And black crevices streak the horrible plain, 
Where the fiery reflection flickers and pants 
In caves where not even the white bear haunts. 



PRINCE AMADLS. 565 

CLXXVI. 

He swung in the air o'er the hanging wash 
Of the two worlds of waters that fearfully clash 
Round the Horn, where the grim cape with passionate soul 
Ever strains its wild eyes to behold the South Pole. 

CLXXVII. 

He loved most those regions which man had least tram- 
melled, 

The southern Pacific, with islands enamelled, 
An old world submerged, with conjectural climes 
Whose glory was passed ere historical times. 

CLXXVIII. 

The chief lands of the planet now seem to unroll, 
Like a cincture with pendants, around the North Pole ; 
Time was when the world was antarctic, but now 
The silent Pacific keeps that drowned world below. 

CLXXIX. 

He loved the sweet dream-lands that rise to view 
From the soft warm deep, with their mountains of blue, 
AVith the palm groves and inlets and scent laden bays, 
That lie evermore in a fairy-land haze. 

CLXXX. 

He could almost have worshipped, when noon was still 
Mid the populous forests of green Brazil, 
Where incredible creepers hang from the trees 
Their huge-blossomed flags in the stifled breeze. 

CLXXXI. 

For a while he was witched by the wind that yields 
Faint fragrance out of vanilla fields, 
And watched the pendulous humming-bird cling 
To the rocking flower, like a golden thing. 



566 PRINCE AMADIS. 

CLXXXII. 

In the sultry noon there were palaces cool 
In the weedy depths of a crystal pool, 
All pillared with juicy stalks, and their eaves 
Trauslucently roofed with lotus-leaves. 

CLXXXIII. 

Then he would drowsily float for hours 
Over leagues and leagues of prairie flowers, 
And find in the wide horizons round 
Something that made his spirit bound, 

CLXXXIV. 

A .dash of the Tartar-like impulse, that leaps 
The perilous dykes of the Asian steppes, 
And goes mad with the wind, and the swiftness, and 

stretch 
Of the glorious sky-line he gallops to reach. 

CLXXXV. 

He has leaned his face on the desert sand 
To feel the hot breath of the sunburnt land ; 
He has counted the pulses that sob in the wind, 
Which always seems fainting and lagging behind. 

CLXXXVI. 

He found a strange magic in noxious shades, 
In poisonous plants, and the stilted arcades 
Of mangrove roots, and the cedar swamps, 
And the growths of the equatorial damps. 

CLXXXVII. 

In the rain he watched for the sun to come out, 
And he shifted the ends of the rainbows about ; 
The lightning obeyed him, and startled the night 
With most beautiful tempests and wild plays of light. 



PRINCE AMADIS. 567 

CLXXXVIII. 

After sunset he marked where the light of a star 
First struck with its thin shaft the ground from afar, 
And listened, if haply shrill sound it might yield, 
As the spear may ring on the boss of a shield. 

CLXXXIX. 

When weary of color, and dazzled with light, 
He thickened the darkness of palpable night ; 
And his soul floated out of him, sweetly unbound 
By the measured concourse of silence and sound. 

cxc. 
There were times when he hungered for sunsets, and 

pressed 

'Gainst the motion of earth to the up-rolling west, 
And thus draughts of beautiful light he kept drinking, 
Where the sun, that he hunted, was evermore sinking. 

cxci. 

But eastward sometimes with the earth he was borne, 
And lived the day long in perpetual morn, 
Where the down-dipping rim of the planet gave way 
Evermore in the white light, the fountain of day. 

cxcn. 

Sometimes he would hang up in space for a year, 
And move without toil with the huge atmosphere; 
Suns rose not and set not, no star shone, nor moon, 
He enjoyed the green blaze of a shadowless noon. 

cxcm. 

In wild hours he rushed through earth's body and seas, 
Up from, and down to, the antipodes, 
So swiftly that darkness And light flashed together, 
With the beauty of both and the sameness of neither. 



568 PRINCE AMADTS. 

CXCIV. 

What a study was earth, so terrific, so tender, 
Such a dove-tailing process of blackness and splendor, 
An orb so mature, with what time had done for her, 
Gentle beauty, stern beauty, and beautiful horror. 

cxcv. 

She told all her secrets to Prince Amadis, 
Of her secular ages, uninhabited bliss ; 
She unveiled her vapor wheels, always at play, 
The machinery that makes her phenomena, 

cxcvi. 
The grim whistling avalanche, rough breath of the 

mountains, 

The strange intermittence that sobs in some fountains, 
The tiny frost atoms, that are stronger than thunder, 
Which creep into rocksandthen thrust them asunder, 

cxcvu. 

The life of volcanoes, with the lava all seething, 
And the fire and the sulphur the fierce earth is 

breathing, 

With craters disposed round the globe in long rows 
Over veins of dread fire-life whose tide ebbs and flows, 

cxcvur. 

The tortuous suck of the huge water-spout, 
And unorbited meteor-globes, wheeling about, 
The geysers, the mud-lakes, the fountains of naphtha, 
Earth's roof falling in through the slip of a rafter, 

cxcix. 

The new mountain-range that yet neath the sea lingers, 
Just lifting among the cold waters its fingers, 
The mixtures, the gases, the forces, the glories, 
Of the subterranean laboratories. 



PRINCK AMADIS. 569 

cc. 

Now he changes the silence of pure pathless snows, 
For the crunching and grinding of icebergs and floes, 
And he watches the isotherms waver and blend 
With the line of the iceblink all round the world's end. 

ccr. 

He revolved in the wheels of the circular gales, 
When they lash the deep sea with invisible flails, 
And was splashed by the salt foam the ocean with 

clangor, 
Like rockets of water, up-threw in its anger. 

ecu. 

He found out the hearts of the wide-spreading rains, 
In the glens of the mountains, or wood-mantled plains ; 
He drew the wet curtains around him in glee, 
And rode, like a king, in sublime privacy. 

coin. 

He examined the laws which the snow-drifts follow, 
As they lie amphitheatre- wise round the hollow, 
As if water congealed on the uneven hind 
Took the patterns the sea-water makes on the sand. 

cciv. 

O what beauty there was in the crystallized grains, 
Each with its prism, and its deftly joined veins ; 
And he laughed at the voices of clocks and of bells, 
As They quaked through the drift with their querulous 

swells. 

rev. 

There was beauty in fogs, in their white fleecy gloom, 
With each nook of earth curtained off like a room, 
With the seemingly mist-echoed sounds that up-roll, 
As if from another world down in a hole. 



570 PRINCE AMADIS. 

ccvr. 

He heard the ice yawn in the still winter night, 
As if the frost's slumber were broken and light, 
And, in spite of his science, was startled at times 
By the firs flinging off their light loads of snow-rimes. 

CCVII. 

Xow he spans all at once fifty leagues of a storm, 

Till he comes where its outskirts a frontier may form, 

Twixt the calm and itself, and he halts and looks 

through 
Silver windows of white mist, and beyond them the blue. 

CCVII I. 

O see how yon hills fold their green arms and sleep, 
Where the cataract faints summer-dried on the steep ; 
Go, find out the ear of the echo, and there 
Rest awhile, and dream well, in the soft tingling air. 

ccix. 

Now he rouses tired nature, and bids her awake, 
For his beauty-palled spirit hath craved an earthquake ; 
And he races his thoughts 'gainst the shock, in his mirth, 
Thro' the sinuous veins of elastic old earth. 

ccx. 

He knocks at the hollow of purple midnight, 
To see if his knocking will make it strike light, 
Or if the jarred planets will vibrate and quiver, 
As they seem to do down in the tremulous river. 

ccx i. 

When he yearned for deep silence he dwelt in the moon, 
Where the earth looked like thirteen moons melted in one ; 
If his eyes ached with this, earthless homes he could find 
In the side that looks always away from mankind. 



PRINCE AMADIS. 571 

ccxn. 

Then he dived thro' the holes in the black-spotted vest 
Of bright blinding matter around the sun's breast; 
And he might have learned lessons there, how hearts 

of pride 
May be colder than ice, with their fire all outside. 

CCXIII. 

The world was all written, without and within, 
With wonderful sciences, such as might win 
A philosopher's heart to a glorious excess 
Of intellectual blessedness. 

ccxiv. 

No cloud rode more softly than he rode in air ; 
He could live under water ; the thin void could bear 
Of sidereal spaces ; and such was the bliss 
Of the untoilsome travel of Prince Amadis. 

ccxv. 

Are you hungry, Prince Amadis, hungry for kindness ; 
Arc you dazzled with matter-light, praying for 

blindness, 

A blindness that sees a sweet twilight all round it, 
Earth's sorrows, earth's hopes, earth's affections that 

bound it. 

ccxvi. 

W ill thou come, gentle Amadis, down from thy mountain, 
And be bathed straightway in the Lethe-like fountain, 
Where men's hearts forget all the grand world outside, 
And in humbling and human things cast off their pride. 

CCXVII. 

The waters will be in thee fountains of tears, 
To brighten dim eyes, break the hard hearts of fears, 
And teach thee that he 'bove all poets is blest, 
To whom beauty is second thought, duty is best. 



572 PRINCE AMADIS. 

CCXVIII. 

Through the love of our neighbor \ve go to love God. 
Or it may be that God to our kind is the road ; 
And of all the fair things in the broad human mind 
The most lovely by far is the love of our kind. 

ccxix. 

Do good to thy fellows, and thy heart shall not miss 
These visions of matter, fancy's riot and bliss ; 
Thou wilt think it almost waste of time to unravel 
This star-moon-and-earthly confusion of travel. 

ccxx. 

It is vain to upbraid him ; the time is not come : 
He is drunken with sunshine ; he will not seek home ; 
There is no earth as yet in his heart ; we must wait, 
And sit up for our traveller, should he be late. 

ccxxi. 

It must be some outward tiling only will reach 
To the depths of his soul, and some outward thing teach 
That wisdom which lies beneath thoughts, words, and 

years, 
AVhose meaning is worship, whose language is tears. 

CCXXII. 

He. has lost his old habit of looking within ; 

He is deafened by elements, hears not his kin, 

As they wail from the earth's distant surface below him, 

Yet fear his return, lest their hearts should not knowhim. 

ccxxm. 

Let him drink his wild fill of material charms ; 
Some accident doubtless will wake sweet alarms 
In a nature fast losing itself, and astray ; 
For accidents work the best wonders alway ! 



PRINCE AMADIS. 573 

CCXXIV. 

It was beauty he sought and beauty he found, 
On the earth, in the air, and under the ground : 
Time was one beauty, and space was another, 
And a man has no griefs who is not man's brother. 

ccxxv. 

He could pass through the planet diameter-wise, 
Where the granite arch o'er the centre lies, 
Through the central fires, and the voiceless wailing 
Of spirits there eternally ailing. 

ccxxvi. 

He could circle the earth underground, 
Where the subterranean waters sound, 
In grottoes and streets which the diamond lights, 
And the lamps of the opal stalactites. 

ccxxvi i. 

On the top of the atmosphere well could he ride, 
Or again in the hollow equator slide, 
Or lie where it bulges, and midnight and noon 
Be cradled there by the nursing moon. 

CCXXVIII. 

'Twas a poet's life, a voluptuous calm, 
All music and metre, all fragrance and balm, 
A half-waking dream from the dawn to the even, 
A banquet of blossoms, a pantheist heaven ! 

ccxxix. 

Forever to him jealous nature was bidden 
To open her gates, that he might pass unchidden 
To all the vast palaces God was adorning, 
When the stars sang together in nature's first morning. 



574 PRIXCE AMADIS. 

CCXXX. 

All beauty that matter can show him shall be 
Unrolled to his eyes like the broad open sea ; 
The elements too shall go with him in throngs, 
Singing their sweet untranslateable songs. 

ccxxxi. 

He saw and he handled the powdery stuff, 
The insoluble atoms the world is made of; 
He divined how their forces, their scent and their taste 
All came from the patterns in which they were placed. 

ccxxxn. 

He saw how the rocky foundations of matter 
Were volatile, weightless, and fluent by nature ; 
How all in swift currents was flowing and crossing, 
And staying with no one and never reposing. 

ccxxxm. 

He shall rifle the universe far as it stretches, 
He shall look o'er the outside of space where it reaches 
The confines of nothing, and exhaust if he can 
All the beauty God made, save the grand heart of man. 

ccxxxrv. 

Thus over the world for long years he was borne, 
To the lands of the sunset, the lands of the morn ; 
And summer-winds fanned him wherever he went, 
And the soft charms of sunshine with moonlight were 
blent, 

ccxxxv. 

Not a nook, not a hollow the whole planet over, 
AVhere he did not fresh Avonder, fresh beauty discover, 
From the gardens of ocean the green billows under. 
To the lone mountain top which belongs to the condor. 



PRINCE AMADIS. 575 

CCXXXVI. 

Earth, water, air, fire, were his loves at the first ; 
Then under-earth growths, where the metals are nursed ; 
Then the outlines of landscapes, and mountains' grave 

faces, 
And the green things that grow in tropical places. 

ccxxxvu. 

He heard the plants breathe out their soft tiny sighs, 
And he saw chemist air dole them out their supplies ; 
He asked of the flowers, and they answered him right, 
Why some sleep with their eyes open all through the night. 

CCXXXVIII. 

He enquired of the solar beam, how it enchanted 
The blossoms to take just the mixed hues it wanted : 
He watched threadlike roots pierce the clay, cleave the 

rock, 
Strong as bodkins of steel, slow as hands of a clock. 

ccxxxix. 

Sometimes he lay on a cloud, and looked down 
On the field and the woodland, blue sea and white town ; 
And he thought earth's geography surely was given 
To be a substantial reflection of heaven. 

CCXL. 

He studied the natures and instincts of beasts, 
And saw possible worlds imaged deep in their breasts ; 
And he read a whole science newly-made in the features, 
The deep tender wildness of the faces of creatures. 

CCXLJ. 

He knew every chord that the rich wind could change, 
Its loud, and its soft, and its musical range, 
From the storms of the night to the song.s it will sing 
As it sinks to an almost inaudible thing. 



576 PRINCE AMADIS. 

CCXLII. 

Sound is a language of beauty for ever, 
From the sigh of the reeds to the dash of the river, 
From the plaintive soul prisoned within the pine tree 
To the foam effervescing on a wave out at sea. 

CCXLIII. 

The piping of wild-fowl was music to him, 
As it rose from the marsh, fenny, sedgy, and dim, 
Though it sounded sometimes, long haunting the ear, 
Too like human anguish, too word-like, too clear. 

CCXLIV. 

Yet the shouts of the gulls to the deaf stor^us complaining, 
Their shrieks, and their oaths 'gainst the strong winds 

maintaining, 

Were excitement at times, in the sea-sounding ear, 
As if the wild woes of all shipwrecks were there. 

CCXLV. 

Even sounds out of harmony filled him with wonder, 
Like the cry of the curlew in the middle of thunder, 
Inopportune sounds, or sounds cursed from their birth, 
Like unmusical souls among men upon earth. 

CCXLVI. 

There was one sound of sweetness he loved and he feared, 
Which full oft in the oak-groves of summer was heard ; 
Twas a thing close to tears, and it madehim turn pale, 
The half-human soul of the grieved nightingale. 

CCXLVII. 

He lay long to listen in caves, where the swell 
Of the sea-murmur sings, like the air in a shell, 
Now idyll, now elegy, storm-ode or pean, 
Mid the cavernous isles of the classic Egean. 



PRINCE AMADIS. 577 

CCXLVIII. 

Where the mountains were folded one over another, 
And the hanging woods the echoes smother, 
He loved the sea's voice, where its courage fails, 
Speaking low, like a stranger, in inland vales. 

CCXLIX. 

He discovered that time made a sound in its going, 
A tremulous ringing, a rhythmical flowing, 
Slowest at noon, as if day in its net 
Caught the sun for awhile ere he slanted to set. 

CCL. 

He wrapt his soul round in each kind of perfume 
From the bright open gardens or close forest gloom, 
And he saw how within him each fragrance was mother 
Of a brood of soft thoughts that was like to no other. 

CCLI. 

But the sounds and the scents floated into his being, 
Not by hearing or smell, but a new kind of seeing, 
Which brought all unbodied delights within reach, 
And gave color and form to the beauty of each. 

CCLII. 
'Twas the same wondrous eyesight which o'er the earth 

cast, 

Saw clear through the gauze of the Present the Past, 
And the Future, which under old centuries lay, 
Like a grave pre-existence, work up into day. 

CCLIII. 

The cosmical meanings, the calmness and strife, 
The internmtations of earth's ancient life, 
He read off from her strata, strange ciphers and dread, 
And great thoughts sang out loud in his soul as he read. 
37 



578 PRINCE AMADIS. 

CCLIV. 

He sings funeral hymns over buried creations, 
Or inaugurates epochs with grandest orations, 
While the rocks at his bidding re-plant, re-adorn 
Earth's secular landscapes e'er Adam was born. 

CCLV. 

The deltas all told him what history was theirs 
White shells and black soil in alternate thin layers ; 
The dunes let him feel their slow pulses, dumb things 
That can walk without feet and can fly without wings. 

CCLVI. 

In truth it was strange and suggestive to see 

The patience of earth's monotony, 

How grand in its slowness the march of a law 

That must work without tool and complete without flaw. 

CCLVII. 

How slowly the desert stalked into the land, 
And had powdered old Egypt with handfuls of sand, 
And how calm and contented the pyramids were 
To be buried so slowly by hair-breadths a year. 

CCLVIII. 

He saw how old history patiently waited 
Her time under green mounds still unexcavated ; 
In unthought-of places he watched mortals treading 
The graves of old grandeurs, unknowing, unheeding. 

CCLIX. 

In Edom and Tadmor he staid to imbibe 
The spirit of ruins, but found that the tribe 
Of the great human race left a taint where it travelled, 
Making earth's peaceful spells sill^ bewildered and 
ravelled. 



PRINCE AMADIS. 579 

CCLX. 

Earth showed him the footprints of ages, which she 
Had so tenderly veiled with green grass or blue sea, 
And he saw the true process of world-peopling, flowing 
By routes unsuspected, a science worth knowing. 

CCLXI. 

Hieroglyphical marks became clear by degrees, 
Either crooked or straight, like the wakes on calm seas, 
The paths by which Asia her children had driven 
From her hearth to fill earth at the bidding of heaven. 

CCLXII. 

He dreamed that he saw, was it more than a dream? 
Laws, faiths, and philosophies national seem, 
And that all mental glories subservient must be 
To the physical spells of geography. 

CCLXIII. 

In the bright silver havens of cloudland above 
He lingered to watch how the rainbow-looms move ; 
He heard light sing its songs in the calm upper ether, 
And the whispers the clouds made when touching to- 
gether. 

CCLXIV. 

Earth-weary he rose up again on swift wings 
Through the half-solid space-matter, graven with rings, 
The grooves of the stars in their orderly race 
Through the infinite purple of icy-cold space. 

CCLXV. 

But his thoughts were more earthly ; he lagged on the 

wing, 

As earth's sounds in his ears kept murmuring ; 
Space appeared to resist him much more than before, 
As he breasted the light on its outermost shore. 



580 PEIXCE AMADIS. 

CCLXVI. 

And the marvels of starry life soon became weary, 
And the gulfs of the Milky Way manless and dreary : 
How sweet looked our planet, when it first came in sight, 
Like a teardrop of joy on the fair brow of night. 

CCLXVII. 

Ah ! this foolish Prince ! was the first hopeful feeling 
That o'er thy young lifetime already was stealing ; 
This the true fountain deep in thee, the root 
Of earth's wonderful flower that bears heavenly fruit. 

CCLXVIII. 

At last he was homesick ; at last he was weary ; 
At last the world's outside shone cold-bright and dreary ; 
He had come to th% end, and he saw that the light 
Of beauty fell short of the infinite. 

CCLXIX. 

He was sick of the luscious cup nature had brought him, 
And began to distrust the thin truths she had taught him ; 
At last came the time, when a soul full of beauty 
Should feel the one lovely thing wanting was duty. 

CCLXX. 

Sad thoughts rose within him, distracting, prolific, 
As he sank to the earth in the Southern Pacific, 
On a cocoa-crowned crater, which coral worms built, 
And the yellow brine-lichens had modestly gilt. 

CCLXXI. 

In his absence of mind, he had lighted below 
Near a dwelling of man, where the plaining of woe 
On the warm spicy wind arose touching and wild, 
'Twas a mother just closing the eyes of her child. 



PKINCE AMADIS. 581 

CCLXXII. 

First there came o'er his heart a most strange agitation, 
Then it flashed on his mind like a new revelation, 
No love without depth, and no depth without sorrow ; 
For the tears of to-day are the joys of to-morrow. 

CCLXXIII. 

'Twas as old as the hills ; but it is so with youth, 
It must find out as new the most primary truth : 
No wisdom self has not found out is our own ; 
Truths taken on trust are oft cold as a stone ! 

CCLXXIV. 

He though of the creed of his now sainted mother ; 
It taught the same lesson ; it was based on no other ; 
How the great God himself, who all beauty had given, 
Came on earth to find woe when there was none in 
heaven. 

CCLXXV. 

All at once what a change had come over his spirit ; 
For tho' sorrow be not the whole truth, it is near it. 
A thousand false lights were put out on the earth, 
For the beauty of things seemed a poor kind of mirth. 

CCLXXVI. 

It was persons, not things, that the Prince wanted now, 
And he welcomed the ache just begun in his brow ; 
O beautiful sorrow ! thy tears how they shine, 
Ah ! none can preach God with persuasion like thine ! 

CCLXXVII. 

All wisdom is in thee, O fairy-like sorrow ! 
The faith of to-day, and the crown of to-morrow, 
The love, for God's sake, of these deep human faces, 
With their troubles, and joys, and their heart's com- 
mon-places. 



582 PRINCE AMADIS. 

CCLXXVIII. 

The sound of the savage in the cocoa-isle weeping 
Hath wakened the Prince from the sleep he was 

sleeping ; 

To mourn with the sad was his first act of duty, 
And at once he found out the imposture of beauty. 

COLXXIX. 

He hath shed a man's tear o'er the grief of another ; 
And lo ! earth fell beneath him, and man was his 

brother ; 

And a kindhearted soul, with a sad sort of bliss, 
In his hoary old age was the Prince Amadis ! 



THE END. 



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PR 4699 .Fll A17 1889 SMC 
Faber, Frederick William, 
Poems 4th ed.